Thrift shop at Arnolia church's profits needy families [Loch Raven column]

March 13, 2014|By Sue VanEssen,

Arnolia United Methodist Church's thrift shop is showing positive results, The shop opened in 2011 and sells donated items to the public and uses the profits to help needy people in the community. Currently, using the store proceeds, profit from recycling paper (paper bins on the church's parking lot) and gift money from congregants, they assist nearly 200 families each year providing food, school supplies, toiletries, warm winter accessories, vegetables from the church's garden and money to avoid evictions and BGE turn-offs. Fortunately, due to the success of the shop, they haven't had to limit the number of people served and have been able to increase the amount given to avoid BGE turn offs and evictions. Priscilla Calvert and Jo Anna Funk coordinate the outreach program.

Because they keep informed about other sources of assistance, they can often recommend another agency or church when they are unable to assist. In February, they held a round table meeting with representatives from The Episcopal Church of the Messiah, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Peter's Lutheran, Christus Victor Lutheran and Immaculate Heart of Mary to brainstorm and share information about their outreach programs.

In June, Arnolia is hosting a fashion show featuring clothes and accessories from the thrift shop along with a home cooked lunch. Jewelry will be for sale. Profits from the $25 per ticket event will be split between the outreach fund and the young adult group.

Pricilla Calvert, who co- coordinates the store along with Cheri Laumann explained that thrift shop customers appreciate that their purchase supports the outreach program. She said "We feel that God is leading and encouraging us to provide for others, which is part of our church's mission." She added, "The shop would not be possible without our volunteer store associates: Ed Calvert, Ginny Cox, Ruthie Dieter, Carole Disharoon, Joe Anna Funk, Christie Grape, Nancy Greene, Evelyn Hartig, Bud Laumann, Anne Libis, Paula Pfeifer, Carole Rathmell, Kay Spriggs, Sandy Winkler, Pat Potter, Nancy Wolfe and Mary Ann Chenowith."

The shop, located at 1776 E.Joppa Road, is open Monday and Thursday and the second Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Who said you can't learn about agriculture in Loch Raven? That is just what students from Halstead Academy and Pleasant Plains Elementary did on a evening in February. Thanks to the Farm Bureau, Agricultural Education Foundation, Cooperative Extension Service and Baltimore County Career and Education Technology Department, students and their families had the opportunity to visit a variety of stations including butter making, seed planting, Lego horse building and soil composition.

Tasting products was also part of the evening; they were served fresh cooked tilapia similar to the fish raised in Halstead's aquaculture program and ended the evening with ice cream from Prigel Family Creamery. Margaret Peeling, the schools' resource teacher summarized, "It was a great opportunity for students to learn about agriculture and its importance in our lives."

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