Last year, the Mennonite Central committee thrift shop in Hartville donated $1 million in profits to the organization's programs around the world, and, on March 28, they duplicated that by presenting a check of $1,015,208.
Phil Stauffer, Hartville thrift Shoppe Manger, and store volunteers Martha Gingerich, Lorene Coblentz, Sarah Troyer, Vi Troyer and Ruby Schrock present the check to Eric Kurtz, MCC Great Lakes executive director.
MCC, a worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches, shares God's love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice. MCC envisions communities worldwide in right relationship with God, one another and creation. Their website is mcc.org.
The large donation from the Hartville MCC Thrift Shoppe isn't thanks to an auction, special sale or a sudden influx of cash. It's made possible by a long history of people committed to MCC's vision of relief, development and peace in the name of Christ, Stauffer says.
"It's the legacy that came before the dillion dollars that made it possible. It wasn't anything we did last year. There's a long history that came before it," said Stauffer, who has managed the shop since 2012.
The 29,000 square foot building boasts racks and racks of clothing, a housewares section, books, movies and furniture, but it wasn't always such a large operation.
Roughly 43 years ago, the Hartville Thrift Shop was founded by a group of women who heard about turning second-hand clothing into money to support MCC.
The original shop was in a house owned by Howard and Sarah Miller, which they rented to the thrift shop founders for one dollar a year.
Now, some of the children and grandchildren of those founders continue to be involved with the shop, sitting on the board, and supporting the shop in other ways.
"That legacy has gone on, that support from the community and from those women that started it and those families," Stauffer said.
Growing up, Stauffer's mother would wash clothing for his local MCC thrift shop.
"MCC and MCC Thrift has a long history in my mind and my makeup. It's very important," Stauffer said. "I also see tis as a calling and as my way of serving God and contributing to His Kingdom on earth."
Proceeds from MCC Thrift shops like Hartville support MCC's work around the world, providing food, blankets, medications and other supplies in places like Ukraine during times of crises. Already last year, $1,586,000 was given to Ukraine. The thrift shops also support long-term development work like improving the quality of educations, providing clean water, training farmers on new agricultural techniques and offering loans and support so people can start their own businesses.