Grand Opening of the Brightmoor Free Store

The first day of the Brightmoor Free Store was January 11, 2014

What a wonderful day. 58 families shopped at the Brightmoor Free Store, selecting clothing, books, and household goods for the family.

As we welcomed our neighbors that morning, we already had the lights on, the coffee pot going, and snacks on the table. After enjoying some fellowship with the initial shoppers, we greeted the neighbors who would volunteer and gave them tasks as more neighbors arrived.

At 9:30am Pastor Courtney and Pastor Jeff delivered a devotional message and served communion to all. It was the embodiment of the Kingdom of God: we were all neighbors and we were all friends, equals at Christ’s Table. There were neighbors from Birmingham, Detroit, Redford, and many other communities seated together and there were no strangers in the bunch.

As people came into the church, near the door was a greeter’s table where smiling volunteers checked everyone in as they arrived and invited shoppers to enjoy a cup of coffee and a snack in the sanctuary while they waited for their turn in the store.

Throughout the day our neighbors shopped with dignity in a space that looks a lot like many thrift stores and second hand shops. The tables were efficiently arranged, the racks were in neat rows, the boxes were tucked under the tables for easy restocking, and there were signs announcing every department. There were piles of clothing, racks of coats, winter gear, rows of household items, shelves of books, and boxes of shoes.

When shoppers’ arms were full, volunteers offered to carry their selections to the sanctuary while they continued shopping. Outside of the store there were 2 check-out tables staffed by cheerful volunteers who politely enforced the limits with love.

The items that were given were not ordinary thrift fair, but rather they were a means of Grace … just a way for us to spend a little time with neighbors who we may not have seen again for another year following our December One-Stop Shop if we had not opened our hearts, our minds, and our doors by opening the Brightmoor Free Store.

Click on the photo below to see more photos of the January Brightmoor Free Store.

Brightmoor Free Store

January 2014 Brightmoor Free Store by the numbers:
314 pieces of adult’s clothing
368 pieces of children’s/infant’s clothing
286 accessories
41 pairs of shoes
134 household items
68 toys
117 books (adult and children)
Total: 1328 items went home with our neighbors that day!