Thrift shop to add ‘abundance’ of space

MIFFLINTOWN – Abundant Blessings Thrift Shop in Mifflintown will nearly double in size a year from now.

The 7,000 square foot facility will be part of a major makeover as an addition is added to its north and west sides. Gwen Martin, general manager of the Christian thrift store, said the addition will include 6,500 square feet of space for storage, shopping and a conference room.

The drop-off location on the back end of the store will be moved to the east side with a car port to protect patrons from the weather.

Abundant Blessings is a ministry of the Mennonite Central Committee and all proceeds from the store go to the mission field as well as other non-profit organizations.

Ten years after its opening, a total of one million dollars had been given to MCC.

Martin said when the facility began operation in 2000, it was decided a separate fund would be set aside for the need of more space.

In recent years, storage sheds have been added outside of the building to keep more donated items. The number of shoppers continues to climb, too. Twice per year the store hosts a seasonal change sale. Earlier this month, the start of fall sale brought 70 people through the doors when the store opened at 9 a.m.

“The community has been very good to us,” Martin said. Visitors regularly stop in the shop from as far away as Lancaster County.

Martin said many of the store’s 120 volunteers will be working hard to make the transition easy for customers as construction begins in the spring. The store will remain open through the process except for maybe one or two days.

Currently the parking lot has been expanded and a new entrance from Route 35 has been put in place.

A new, large sand mound also has been dug. John Hosler is the excavator for the project.

A contractor has not been named for the construction as of yet.

Once the opening occurs in the fall of 2014, Martin said, “We will do something special for the customers.”