For decades churches have brought aid to their community. They are known to provide spiritual growth and comfort.
But now many churches are participating in thrifting ministries. These ministries provide clothing and miscellaneous items to the homeless, ex-inmates and low-income families. There are many churches such as Christians Temple Church of Faith and Works that allow local families to donate their unwanted items and clothing pieces. On the first Friday of every month they distribute the clothing to the community. Bishop Phillip Speights, a veteran and the pastor of Christians Temple Church of Faith and Works, explains one of the reasons why he and his wife decided to take on thrifting ministries.
“There are many families that come to our church on Sunday and participate in our food bank and ask us for clothing materials,” he said. “I told my wife that this was something we needed to add to our food bank. People need more than just food. A lot of these families have to sleep outside, they walk miles and are unable to afford the clothing and shoes at thrift stores like Goodwill. Our church was built to serve our members and community any way we possibly can and so that is what we strive to do,” he added.
Ministries similar to Christians Temple Church of Faith and Works, provide their clothing bank on certain days of the month. However, there are certain churches such as Saddleback Church in California have opened up stores that support their thrifting ministries. The Living Harvest thrift store is located in two areas. According to the Living Harvest website their primary goal is to “facilitate a stable environment that gives individuals an opportunity to rebuild their lives and re-enter society as an active contributing member by achieving residential stability, increasing their skill levels and obtaining greater self-determination and moral integrity.”
These thrift stores help thousands of low-income families with multiple home and day to day needs. Shonda Reids, who has lived in Frenchtown for more than 12 years, knows what a difference it can make.
“My husband and I fell on hard times. Even though the clothing at Goodwill is extremely inexpensive, we visited one of the local churches and during the services they explained that they were having a clothing drive,” she said. “My husband I attended the clothing drive and they were so helpful that a few of the women I spoke to brought my children extra clothes for school, not to mention the clothing we received from the drive and it was all free of charge.”