THE CORNER SHOP
Jesus said that when we provide clothes to those who are in need,
as if we were clothing Christ himself (Matthew 25:36).
May our Corner Shop continue
to clothe Jesus Christ in this way as it continually reaches out to our community, joyfully providing this valuable service
and bringing glory to God.
In 1960, looking for a new way to help the church and the community,
the Women's Fellowship consulted with the then new pastor, Rev. Hugh Penney. He suggested we try a project that had
been successful at his last parish.
On May 6, 1960, the Corner Shop was born - specializing in the resale of
fine quality used clothing at thrift store prices and it has been in operation ever since. The store opened in the basement
of the building that is now occupied by Talbot's, once Benson's Apparel Store. As enrollment in the church school began
to diminish, the rooms in the lower level of the church became less used and the shop was moved at first into two rooms and
gradually grew into the four rooms it now occupies.
And after 47 years, it has become our church's longest thriving
program of outreach and service - and continues to be a vibrant and loving ministry to hundreds of people each year.
Corner Shop receives hundreds of articles of used clothing each week. The clothing is screened and sorted by season
and is priced and put on the racks by our weekly volunteers. Any piece of clothing that is deemed not fit for sale is
donated to an inner city mission in Worcester. Meanwhile, the shop is opened on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is managed
by volunteers who work the sales desk. During an average sales week, we sell hundreds of pieces of men's, women's and
children's clothing, pocket books, scarves, linens, shoes, etc.
Clothes are stocked and sold by season. Winter
clothes are sold from September through February and summer clothes are sold from February through June. The Shop is
closed during the summer, the last week in December, and a week in February for the summer change-over.
most of our clothes are donated directly to the Corner Shop, we do take clothes on consignment. Acceptance of consigned
clothing is limited to clothes that are in-season, good quality, a sale value of at least $1.00, and that sell within two
months. Please contact the Shop for complete details of our consignment policy.
Our customers consist of people
from all walks of life - who are looking to reduce their household expenses by purchasing good quality clothing at a low cost.
They come to us from Holden, the Wachusett area, and other outlying towns and the City of Worcester.
But we don't just
sell used clothing, we also provide a ministry to each other. Volunteers meet together to not only manage the clothing
- but to provide friendship to each other in a loving and caring environment.
We have over 80 men and women from
12 different communities that volunteer their time each month to support the Corner Shop. They sort and price clothing,
manage the sales desk, and serve on the Corner Shop committee - anywhere from 2 hours per month to 4 hours per week.
of our volunteers are church members who are no longer able to be on an active church committee - and yet they are still committed
to serve the mission of the Corner Shop.
Some of our volunteers are members of other churches in Holden - who recognize
the mission of the Corner Shop as a vitally needed community service.
But regardless of where our volunteers come from
- they all have one thing in common. They all have the desire to be involved in a mission of outreach and service to
each other and to the community.
Some of the other areas of our ministry include:
- 25% of our total sales
is transferred to the church's operating budget each year.
- We provide two $1000 scholarhips each year to area students
who are looking to pursue a college education.
- We are one of the largest contributors to an inner city thrift shop
and outreach mission in Worcester.
- We provide clothing to each of the Interfaith Hospitality Network families during
their stay with us.
- We are part of the church's Care Network - and provide emergency clothing to people and family
with urgent needs.
- We provide clothing to special international missions that send good, usable clothing to other
- We provide winter coats to the veteran's shelter in Worcester.
- We send used blankets and towels
to animal shelters and hospitals.
- And we provide a caring environment for people who are committed to serving the
Lord, each other, and the community.
We thank all of the people who continue to support the Corner Shop - by either
providing clothing to sell, or by volunteering their time. But most importantly, by continuing to pray for all the people
who are in need of life's most basic necessities and who are blessed by this ministry.
If you haven't already been to
the Corner Shop, please take some time to stop by so we can show you around - to what has become known as the "best
kept secret in Holden". We think you will be pleasantly surprised.