Church opens thrift store for MQT community

Jessica Lewis

Silver Creek Church, already well-known in the community for its “community-enhancing programs,” as church member and NMU alumnus Jennifer Prus put it, has another project set in motion. This is a thrift store, called Silver Creek Thrift, which the church is creating and managing on the premises of the church grounds, located in Harvey, Mich.

Silver Creek Thrift’s Facebook page said the store officially opens Wednesday, Oct. 1, though the team has been working on the project since June. The team is made up primarily of church members “who have the heart for helping others,” according to Prus, like NMU alumna Kelsey Cowen.

“She has spent numerous hours volunteering with painting, cleaning, and assisting the store manager,” Prus said. Cowen also spoke of her involvement in the project.

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“I support the start-up of Silver Creek Thrift because in the short amount of time (about two months) that I have attended Silver Creek Church, I have already seen the store do wonders to help people in need within the community,” Cowen said. “God is doing amazing things in the store and blessing so many people that are in need.”

The idea for the thrift store was brought before the church board in October 2013. Chocolay Township Government was also consulted to assure that the church was zoned for such a business.

Prus said she was approved by the church board as store director to “assist with the logistics of getting the store off the ground.”

Businesses in the community have been generous to the upstart of the store.

“We have had such an inpouring of generosity from both local businesses and individual residents,” Prus said. “Places like Younker’s, Super One of Marquette, Family Dollar of Harvey, HES, Wal-Mart and Kitchen Concepts have shown tremendous support with donations of grocery carts and baskets, shelving, hangers, display tables, monetary support and file cabinets.”

However, the donation bin has not yet been opened to the public. Prus said they will be accepting both physical and monetary donations graciously once the “Oct. 1 grand opening hits.”

While physical donations do include clothing and most household items, items that will not be accepted are “baby cribs, car seats, large appliances, TVs, mattresses and chemicals.”

On top of the items being donated, the church has been taking careful measures to give back what they can and show their gratitude for the help they’ve been given.

“With the use of upcycling, the store is also able to donate different needed items to local organizations as well,” Cowen said. “So I believe that God has truly blessed Silver Creek Thrift to not only be able to help individual families, but also organizations and the community as a whole, as well.”

The idea of opening another thrift store in Marquette has certainly appealed to some.

“I love it,” freshman new media and technology major Hollie Wallace said. “I think thrift stores are a great way to supply families that may have lower incomes with goods.”

Although Silver Creek Thrift isn’t open just yet, they have already been active in helping who they can in the community.

“Even though our doors have yet to open, we have already assisted families in critical need,” Prus said. “We have helped three families who’ve suffered house fires, and a family who is recovering from homelessness.”

After Oct. 1, the hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m Tuesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Anyone interested in volunteering with this project, or looking for more information, can call (906) 249-1715 or (906) 273-2473 and ask for Jennifer, or visit their page, “Silver Creek Thrift” on Facebook.