When Missy DesJardin was a child, she remembers leaving Home Depot with her parents and seeing a man holding a sign that read, “Will work for food.”
“I remember crying to my parents that we had work around the house he could do, and we always had leftovers so we would have plenty,” she said in a recent speech. “I remember being angry at my parents for not helping him.”
DesJardin’s spirit of responsibility for others is the motivation behind the new Hillsdale Community Thrift store which opened Wednesday as an effort to bring the people of Hillsdale together in raising money for local nonprofits.
Located at 390 W. Carleton Rd., Hillsdale Community Thrift collects and sells new or gently used items, then turns around to give the net profits right back to the community through local nonprofit organizations.
DesJardin says the local nonprofits can fill out a form with who they are, what they do, and what they intend to do with the money. Once the donation is received, they can send a photo back of what the nonprofit did with the money so that the store can have a corner dedicated to all the good work it has helped accomplish.
“Nonprofits just don’t have enough money here,” she said.
The idea for the thrift store began after DesJardin and her husband, Brian, were running an annual golf outing for the Salvation Army this past spring. Several other nonprofits reached out to them, asking for DesJardin to put on a similar event for their own organizations. DesJardin said she knew then that she had to begin brainstorming ideas about how she could help more people.
DesJardin found her solution at a garage sale.
“I’ve always loved garage sales,” she said. “Hillsdale loves garage sales.”
From there she began to plan for Hillsdale Community Thrift, a place where people could give away their new and gently used items that they no longer had a need for, and where nonprofits could benefit.
“The foundation of our county is the people,” DesJardin said. “If there are too many people that can’t support themselves, then we crumble. So this is my easiest way of helping them.”
Along with her husband, DesJardin founded a nonprofit corporation, BMAK Charity Thrifts. Their goal is to open six thrift stores in the next three years, she said. Each will give back to that county’s local nonprofits.
Many volunteers have worked alongside DesJardin throughout the opening process.
Cherie Keiser, one of DesJardin’s helpers, said she started to thrift shop last year, going all the way to Jackson to search for goods. She said she’s excited that this shop is closer to home.
“And to help the community will make it even better,” Keiser said.
Keiser said that DesJardin and her husband had something good going with Hillsdale Community Thrift.
Hillsdale Community Thrift is open 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Donations are accepted during business hours.