Coming Soon: Monarch Thrift Shop

ministry-center-k-clothing

I am extremely happy to announce that Monarch Thrift Shop, Emmaus’s first social enterprise business, will open later this year!

Monarch Thrift Shop is the fulfillment of a 20-year old vision. Soon after we opened the Ministry Center in 1992, we began looking for ways to provide the men with job training and work experience. For almost as long, we have sought new avenues for sustainably funding the work we do. Through this thrift shop, we can accomplish both goals.

Monarch Thrift Shop will offer men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, as well as furniture and other household items, at great prices. It will be a source of job training and employment for men who are ready to take the next step in their recovery. It will also allow them to reclaim their dignity, discover their untapped potential, and explore the deeper purposes for which God made them—all benefits of purposeful employment. And customers will get the satisfaction of knowing their purchases are contributing to the development of the men of Emmaus Ministries.

The men we serve have been involved in planning this business. The name “Monarch Thrift Shop” came out of a months-long process with a focus group of five of our men. It conveys the metamorphoses we all go through in life, as well as the beauty that results from the struggle to become the new creations God intended us to be. Like a butterfly’s chrysalis, this shop will be a vibrant place of growth and new discoveries for volunteers, employees, donors, and members of the community.

The men are just as excited about the store as we are, and their vision for it goes beyond the business as a job training venue. They describe it as a place where people can interact with Emmaus in a new and different way. They see it as both a means of serving the community and a way for them to bless Emmaus Ministries so that more men can find hope on the streets.

A thrift shop is a solid business model. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans throw out over 25 billion pounds of clothing and materials every year. In the depths of the recession, when national retail sales were down by over 7%, resale shops saw an increase of almost 13% (according to The Association of Resale Professionals). Monarch Thrift Shop offers a great opportunity for success and growth.

We are tremendously grateful for everyone who is working to make this vision a reality. As in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, we want to be faithful with what has been entrusted to us and invest it for the growth of God’s kingdom here on earth. With prayer and research, plus plenty of excitement and anticipation, we are taking a step of faith.

We invite you to join us! Right now, we need additional capital to prepare the space, and clothes, furniture, and household items to fill the racks and shelves. Soon, we’ll need volunteers to work in the store for a few hours a week. Please contact me at christa@streets.org for more information.

 
Note: This article appears in Emmaus’s January Newsletter.

3 Comments
  1. I think it’s a wonderful idea

  2. Hi Christa,

    Nice job on the web site. Finding sufficient volunteers could be enhanced by a
    “Call to Action ” squeeze page to collect this same information. Maybe 3 or 4 volunteer opportunities. Also a volunteer coordinator perhaps? 🙂

    Joe Clark

  3. Such a noble cause. I wish the shop much success n to those men n women getting their self respect I applaud you! Many blessings for a bright future 🙂

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To provide Christ-centered support to men seeking to escape survival prostitution and embrace a life of health and wholeness.

 

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