St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store celebrates 10 years
Milestones Are Important
As individuals we celebrate milestones in our lives. These dates on the calendar serve as benchmarks, highlighting key events or special achievements. They tell us if we have reached an objective we set for ourselves, or do we still have some work to do. They also serve as a signpost, giving us an opportunity to continue on the same course or set a new direction, look to new challenges and move forward with renewed purpose.
Organizations have the same opportunities at key points in the life of the business. St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Merrill is at one of those milestone moments. On Aug. 4, 2013 we celebrate 10 years from the day our doors opened with many of our founding members wondering if we would receive enough donations to fill this large space. Will our efforts to sell the donated items generate enough funds to support our Outreach Program? With little money to work with, can we find enough staff to process donations as well as run a retail store? And the ultimate question, will our efforts actually help those for whom our organization was formed?
We certainly have answers to many of those questions. There has never been a lack of donations. Merrill and the surrounding area form a generous community and that generosity has allowed our Outreach Program to make inroads into the poverty that hides in the corners of even our small community. To date we have distributed $676,664 back into Merrill and the near Lincoln County area as well as given families over $42,000 in goods from the Thrift Store. While we cannot claim to have put a dent in poverty levels, we have forged a path that links our more secure population with those who have little. Every donated item, every sale at the Thrift Store, makes it possible for someone to move forward in their lives. We have a wonderful group of volunteers who ensure more dollars get to those who need help as well as a hard working paid staff that is worth their weight in gold. In the early years the Thrift Store provided less than half of what the Outreach Program needed in funding. We now provide between 60 – 80% of the monetary needs of our assistance programs. We are part of a vibrant downtown business group that believes in our community and works tirelessly to improve it.
Most donors want to feel invested in the use of their donated dollars, goods and also volunteer time. We invite the community to take ownership of what has been accomplished. We are but the tool; you provide the energy to move us forward. The week of July 29, 2013 will celebrate our journey, both past and future. Watch for events of that week that promote both the business of our store, but more importantly the mission of service that underlies all that we do. Thank you for your past support. Join with us as we continue to whatever milestones still lie ahead.