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Hope Chest Thrift Store Grand Opening Celebration

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

A Mission Work of the Community

The Hope Chest Thrift Store’s success in this community is because of everyone’s generous giving and excitement about what we’re doing to help so many people. The store is really the community’s ministry; we are simply the managers. But because of our original location’s limited space, we were not able to utilize all the blessings that had been pouring into the store. Then New Hope Ministry (our main organization) was presented with the opportunity to purchase the former Pete Harkness Auto Dealership building, with Mr. Harkness doing everything he could to make it possible for us by doing it on contract. This was the perfect solution, not only for us, but for the community we serve. God has honorably entrusted to us the ministry of managing some of His resources. The people who lovingly and generously donate to this also trust us to be good stewards of their gifts. With this being an upscale Thrift Store, we envision people coming from all directions for miles around. Southern Iowa’s largest Thrift Store ministry will most definitely be an added attraction for all kinds of people, and will bring more people into the community. Who doesn’t love a bargain! Plus Thrift Store shopping has now become chic!

The Hope Chest Thrift Store is so much more than just a Store—it is a non-profit that strives to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families while providing funding for the free faith-based counseling services offer through the New Hope Counseling Center. We are making nicer quality items available to anyone at low cost. We help Appanoose Co individuals and families of house fires, other disasters, and others who simply need a helping hand. Many children are helped each year through our Back to School Giveaway of free Back Packs filled with School Supplies, and free Christmas Shopping Day for Children. Nothing goes unused…store recycling items are even passed on to CROSS Ministries in Osceola, which utilizes them for mission trips and other service projects.

The Hope Chest Thrift Store offers an amazing opportunity for community service projects. When the Student Council came and helped with the Children’s Christmas Shopping Day, those young adults brought such a joyful spirit and organization to that event, it truly mesmerized the store staff. One young man even asked if he and another junior high student council member could come serve at the store again. We are also partnering with other non-profits, such as Optimae in providing a place for some of their clients to serve, and with the Exline Royal Neighbors group, as they support the store’s work and the store collects baskets for theirs. It truly is the community serving the community all the way around, and our staff and volunteers love being a part of it.

The HOPE CHEST will be having a “Grand Opening” celebration on Monday, Sept. 9th from 10 am to 5 pm for the new expanded store in our new building (1003 N 18th St – the old Pete Harkness auto dealership).

We have used broken bits and pieces and leftovers to build this new store in our new building (just as we did the first store), which represent past lives being renewed and healed…RESTORED. Restoration is a recurring theme in Scripture; repairing what had been damaged included personal relationships, destinies, prosperity and health. This is so much more than just a ‘store’—it is a place of refuge and healing for the people and families of our communities. We are givers of Hope through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Here are some ways we are making a difference in the Community:

  1. Back-to-school Give-away – Over 325 Children were helped the past few years with backpacks, school supplies, and back-to-school clothes.

  2. Free Coat and Winter Attire Give-away.

  3. Children’s Free Christmas Shopping Day – Approximately 150 children over the past 2 years shopped for an average of 6 family members each equaling around 900 people touched.

  4. Helping fire and tornado victims.

  5. One little girl has her own nursing home ministry and the store collected stuffed animals for her.

  6. T-shirts are made into diapers for Haiti.

  7. Approximately 100 Easter baskets were collected for Exline Royal Neighbors group community work.

  8. Prom Attire outreach.

  9. They support churches and services throughout Appanoose county and abroad.

  10. People drop their spare change into a “Blessing Jar” from which they give to help others, such as the Jr. High School Hygiene program, sponsoring a young man in international training, helping a family whose daughter had Acute Leukemia (now in remission), disability benefit for a disabled individual, a Jr. High student collecting change for Hurricane victims, blessing the co-manager of the thrift store who is fighting stage 4 ovarian cancer, Hope Pregnancy Center’s Bless-a-Baby Give-away with free baby supplies.

The Hope Chest collaborates with Optimae Mental Health in Centerville periodically, by giving a presentation on Presenting Yourself Well in job interviews and How to Dress for Success. When participants have completed the program requirements, they can come in and pick out a free Job Interview Outfit. We also have a “Work Program” for some who need more of a helping hand.

The Thrift Store blesses the community, helps to support the direct services of New Hope Counseling Center, and also provides an avenue for many Volunteers whose passion it is to serve people at the store. Volunteerism is important to our organization; it is an important part of a thriving community as people serve one another. As a non-profit, we are proud to give Students an opportunity to develop leadership by organizing and carrying out Service Projects here, and they can also earn hours for their Silver Service Award at graduation. We want to thank our local group of Student Council members for the wonderful work they have blessed us with. It has been found that students benefit greatly—both academically and emotionally—from volunteering their time to make the community and world a better place. While performing community service, students have the opportunity to see firsthand how much their work can have an impact on the world—this is something our ministry wants to be a part of. We have also had other groups from the community come and do special work projects to help us out, which has been a huge blessing with this new building. Call us at the store’s new phone number: 641-437-4900, or stop by to see how you can get involved this way.

The new store also houses “Hope Loan Closet” – Loaning medical equipment free of charge as a community service. This includes walkers, shower chairs, commodes, canes, crutches, wheelchairs, and other miscellaneous items. It’s hard for people to believe they are able to borrow these much needed items at no charge. On average we are helping over 100 people at all times.

There will be lots of fun surprises for the Hope Chest Grand Opening Celebration at our new location: 1003 N 18th St. The store is now open more days and more hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 am to 5 pm. The old location at 309 W VanBuren St is now the “Hope-tique” Clothing Ministry of “Clothing at Low-Cost” and is open Saturdays only – 10 am to Noon. Donation Drop-offs are to be made only at the new Hope Chest location at 1003 N 18th St, at the Northeast Garage Door during store hours.

Being in this larger building enables us to help so many more people. God wanted to bless the Thrift Store ministry and use it to be a blessing in this community and the surrounding areas more than was possible in its first, smaller location. So He set up the opportunity to purchase the old Pete Harkness auto dealership building on contract with the owner, who just happens to be very charity minded, as he serves on the Boards of two non-profit organizations where he lives. Mr Harkness has helped us out so much with this arrangement, dropping the price considerably, giving us a low down-payment, and low monthly payments, but we still need the help of New Hope supporters and those in the community who love the Hope Chest Thrift Store and the many ways it serves the people of this area. We still have $455,238 left to raise to pay off the building in full. We know that God could lay it on the heart of one generous donor, or on the hearts of many different people who would like to have a part in helping the people of our area and beyond in the ways we’ve described. All of New Hope’s outreaches really are far-reaching, with ripple effects:

  1. New Hope Counseling Center – we have had Counselees from as far as 100 miles away.

  2. Hope Chest Thrift Store – and its extensive outreaches.

  3. New Hope Ministry – providing affordable and effective ministry materials to help people help others.

  4. Hope Pregnancy Center – providing free pregnancy counseling, post-abortion counseling, and materials assistance.

  5. New Hope Prayer Center – praying for and speaking blessings over the community and region night and day.

  6. Hope Loan Closet – loaning out misc medical equipment to people free of charge.

If you would like to be a part of this unique local charity as a Volunteer, or help us make a difference in the lives of others, stop by our new location at 1003 N 18th St in Centerville. Tax-deductible donations can be made at: NHCC, PO Box 151, Centerville, IA 52544, or on our website:

You can find New Hope’s 18 year story of how we were founded and the progressions up to this point throughout the pages of our website.

New Building Needs List:

Small Hot Water Heater

Professional Sign for New Hope Ministry

Professional Sign for Hope Chest Thrift Store

2 Lighted letters for front of building to spell New Hope: W and H

40 Padded Straight Back “Church Chairs” – Purple upholstery

Landscaping burlap fabric for divider wall

Silver insulation sheets for Thrift Store walls where new is needed

Help Needed:

Install toilet in store bathroom

Install sink and vanity in store bathroom

Lay Ceramic Tile in store bathroom

Redo insulation of inside wall of store sorting area

Cement fill-in of drainage trough in back shop area

Wire 2 new florescent light fixtures in store

Install washer/dryer for store

Speckle Paint floor in small mechanical room

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