Economical. Eco-friendly. Mission driven. These words capture the purpose of Freedom Thrift, a nonprofit second-hand store at 114 Ranck Church Road, New Holland.
The new store, which will hold its grand opening on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 30-31, is operated by Revelations of Freedom Ministries — a nonprofit, faith-based agency begun in 2012 by Christian businessmen from Lancaster and York counties. It offers a minimum 10-month residential treatment program for men 18 years and older who are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
The store — which offers second-hand items — is designed for shoppers who recycle, repurpose and reuse merchandise to save money as well as the environment .
“Our store’s mission is to provide quality items at a fair price and support the (Revelations) ministry,” said Dan Fox, store general manager.
Store sales also support the ministry, which aims to help men struggling to overcome drug and alcohol addiction.
Renovating the 7,000-square-foot, first floor was a labor-intensive undertaking. Deb Buckwalter, part-time store manager, said it was inspiring to work with some of the men from the Revelations program who helped set up the store.
“I love being part of a mission to help these men,” she said. Fox said the men shared their ideas and skills to renovate the store.
Fox, Buckwalter and Yvette Lee, the full-time store manager, are experienced in thrift store management and merchandising. And all have a heart for mission work.
Revelations of Freedom Ministries originally was located in two houses on East Main Street, Blue Ball. The new location previously served as Blue Ball National Bank’s operations center.
The three-story, 44,000-square-foot structure was purchased from the bank in 2018 for $1.8 million. Joel Jakubowski, Revelations executive director, said renovations to the building brought the total cost to $3.5 million.
Freedom Thrift occupies the first floor, with the ministry using the second and third.
“We have the capacity for 50 men in the program,” Jakubowski said.
The staff currently consists of three full-time and six part-time employees; three interns and five volunteers.
“(We) utilize the rehabilitation model of ‘long-term, residential, faith-based’ proven to produce the highest level of success,” Jakubowski said.
Since 2012,about 200 men have completed the program. Funding for the ministry comes through entrance fees, community support and fundraising.
Jakubowski has been executive director since July 2018. He has multiple educational degrees in behavioral health, substance abuse/addiction counseling and recovery specialization.
His own 20-year struggle with addiction led him to a long-term residential faith-based rehabilitation program and a personal relationship with God.
“This dramatically transformed my life and worldview,” he said, “inspiring me to spend the rest of my life offering this incredible gift of freedom to others.”
Currently, six volunteers help sort donations, price, label, clean, etc., and Fox said they can always use more. He encourages anyone interested in volunteering to call the store or stop in between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays These days and hours will be the actual store times after the grand opening.
Donations are accepted at the drop-off location in the rear of the building. Items such as TVs, computers, mattresses and other furniture are not accepted. For a list of items not acceptable, or information about volunteering call 717-356-0831 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tours of the second and third floors of the renovated facility will be offered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31
More information can be found at www.rofm.org.