The enterprising spirit of several women at St. Luke’s nearly 20 years ago has taken wing in many ways at The Church Mouse. Providing substantial funding each year to local charities and to worldwide missions, the charitable intent of The Church Mouse is fulfilled to an even greater extent than the founders imagined originally. Even more than that, it has given a great many people the chance to serve. Not only our spirited volunteers, but also the people who donate the nice things they no longer use, to be sold here, and even our customers who give these things a new home in which to serve their purpose – all around we see people gaining a chance to do good, and taking up that opportunity gladly.
Blessings All Around
From the moment we come through the door we are surrounded by an abundance of blessings. Gorgeous furniture and furnishings, arranged against a tall tapestry of light, give the feeling we have stepped into a friend’s home, rather than a thrift store. That feeling stays with us as we progress beyond the jewelry case, where images selected from Breakfast at Tiffany’s recall the hospitable way that two young lovers searched for something – anything – that they could afford, and were successful, thanks to the generous understanding of a salesperson who dealt with them as if he were an uncle.
Continuing, counter-clockwise, we see colorful sportswear, a special selection of shoes, and then proceed into a room of sparkling dishes and table wear. There’s even a “man cave,” with furnishings that are to décor what comfort food is to cuisine. Now come the bookshelves, where folks find a fitting choice from beach reads to history and culture, to biographies and self-help and how-tos.
Upstairs, a men’s department is surprisingly dressy. This might be because gentlemen who wore suits to work for decades find that they play only an occasional supporting role on America’s favorite vacation island.
Beyond the Merchandise
The truth is, the merchandise changes constantly. What does remain the same is the willingness of donors to keep an eye out for something that might do some good here. Overall, the impression that arises as we look things over is that these items were once selected carefully to take part in a person’s life, or a family’s home, or a long-desired vacation getaway. They were gently loved, and they will be loved again.
The impulse to donate things to The Church Mouse involves the recognition that what once was part of your life can carry on doing good, even when you no longer need it. The good things that arise from that impulse grow and grow, Volunteers accept and sort and arrange these treasures, giving of their time and talents. Shoppers enjoy the search, exploring The Church Mouse for yet another “find.”
And as the cycle of good continues, the income proceeds go to about 50 selected charities each year, and help people who need it, from food and clothing, to shelter and care.
Moments to Savor
Even after the moments of enjoyment have been relished, and the finds have made their way to new homes, and the support has been distributed to the selected charitable endeavors – who must apply and pass review every year – there is still something important left to savor.
We hope that all The Church Mouse family – donors, shoppers, and charitable causes – continue knowing they have taken part in the flow of divine love – the good wishes of the community given substance and brought to life.