A new thrift store in the southeast Oklahoma City neighborhood known as Shidler-Wheeler benefits nearby residents in ways far beyond the inexpensive prices for everything from clothing and furniture to Valentine's cards and jewelry.
Sally Goin, founder and director of FaithWorks of the Inner City, said the new Shidler-Wheeler Community Thrift Store is providing jobs, a viable business and a place of fellowship for many who walk through the door.
“The more we talked about it, the more we decided this was the direction God wanted us to go,” she said.
“It's another step for our ministry.”
FaithWorks opened the store at 735 SE 15 in December. A grand opening is planned Friday and Jan. 25.
Goin, 63, said the thrift store is just one more addition to a growing number of services and programs offered by FaithWorks, which she founded in 2001. The retired Edmond schoolteacher's love affair with the mostly Hispanic Shidler-Wheeler neighborhood began with her mentoring sessions of a young boy who eventually attended Shidler Elementary School.
Goin's FaithWorks provided school uniforms, backpacks and Christmas gifts for students at the school for many years before the ministry built a community center across the street from the school.
She said the ministry purchased the 9,000-square-foot building that houses the store and refurbished it with help from the Green family that owns Oklahoma City-based crafts retailer Hobby Lobby. Goin said Hobby Lobby had initially been contacted to paint the store's interior but eventually crews acting at the business' behest put in new windows, doors, flooring, parking lot striping, heating and air and restrooms.
“They completely redid the store. They are amazing friends to FaithWorks,” Goin said.
More than a store
Jace Kirk, FaithWorks assistant director, serves as manager of the thrift store. He said ministry leaders modeled the thrift store after a similar project they discovered while attending a Focus Community Strategies conference in Atlanta. Kirk, 31, said Hopefully Yours, a thrift store that benefits the Hope Center of Edmond, is at least one other shop with a similar focus as the new Shidler-Wheeler store.