Writer: Autumn Williams
Hope’s Closet is a thrift store that was started by the Church of Eleven22 on August 21 to bring the word of the Lord to people in an all new way. Since the opening of the store three people have surrendered their lives to Jesus and pronounced him as their Lord and Savior. “We are a mission through our re-donated and re-gifted items, they are merchandise that gets sold back into the community and what we are trying to do it we have a mission for a retransformation center”, explained Ron Armstrong.
The store accepts all types of clothing: men’s, women’s and children’s. They also accept shoes, handbags, furniture, electronics, small appliances, home goods, toys, bikes and books as well as DVDs and CDs. Hope’s Closet does not take liquid items, auto parts, used mattresses, bed pillows, food, large appliances, clothing with holes or stains, undergarments or bathing suits, baby cribs, baby furniture, or baby seats.
Hope’s Closet accepts donations Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there are two donation drop-off locations. There is a drop-off bin on the side of the thrift store and the other bin is located in front of the Church of Eleven22. Both bins are bright red so they are not hard to find.
The workers at Hope’s Closet are mostly Serve-staff workers from the Church of Eleven22 who are unpaid volunteers that do odd jobs for the church including child care, directing cars in the parking lot and checking volunteers in to help with the kids. However, anyone can volunteer and serve for the store. The volunteer days are from Monday to Saturday and they will sign off on your volunteer hours whether it is for high school, college, or required hours.
In the next three to four months Hope’s Closet is expanding to a location that is adjacent to their current location and in turn would add 15,000 square feet to their already 12,000 square feet. This second location is to help support the second location of the Church of Eleven22 that is opening on Baymeadows Rd.
Ron Armstrong who began serving at Hope’s Closet every single day was then offered a part time job. Then was offered a full time managers position where he is currently happily working. There are requirements to earn a job at Hope’s Closet including being above 18 years old and having some retail experience will help when working at the registers.
Other items besides donated items are sold at Hope’s Closet. The McKenzie Wilson Foundation sells their old McKenzie Run t-shirts, water bottles, hats and headbands. Okoa Refuge sells their bracelets and drums from Africa. Alfie’s clothing sells their merchandise, the Carrie Cross and Re-Threaded sells their scarves. As well as Eleven22 shirts and CDs are sold in the store.
Hope’s Closet’s mission is a challenging yet inspiring one and it is a way for the Jacksonville community to come together as a whole. No matter who are you or your beliefs Hope’s Closet is a thrift store for anyone and everyone.