Shalom Shop celebrates 30 years of service

On Saturday, Oct. 8, the Shalom Shop will celebrate its 30th year in business with an open house from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. which includes treats, coupons and drawings for reduced prices on merchandise.

The Shalom Board (seated, l-r): Doris Barnes, Nancy Holm, Harriet Harp, Jane Chapman, Jody Dobe, Sharon Long, (Standing) Jan Elder, Shari VanAlstine, Kathy Stauber, Betty Lawrence, Wanda Larson, Nancy Johnson, Rosalie Peterson, Fern Lindquist, Edie Frison. Not Pictured: Kathy Lodin

The ladies involved with the Miriam Circle at the Cambridge Lutheran Church started Shalom in November 1981 in the parsonage basement, offering free clothing one morning a week to those in need. For a short time, they offered clothing in the parking lot of the Erickson grocery store parking lot.

Realizing their endeavor was growing beyond their original expectations, they moved into a house at 121 North Ashland where they could be open to the general public 6 days a week. In 1982, the United Methodist church and Ashland Place offered volunteers. In 1983 the Cambridge First Baptist Church offered volunteers. In 1985 Shalom moved into the former Hanson Shoe Store (129 SE 2nd Avenue). In 1989 Joy Lutheran Church joined and shortly thereafter, Fish Lake Lutheran Church joined. In 2010 New Hope Community offered volunteers.

In February 2010, after many attempts to remodel and expand the space to meet the demand and volume of donations received from the public, Shalom took a leap of faith and moved to the vacated Ben Franklin store on Main Street. While many were nervous and unsure we could operate an expanded facility with only volunteers, the move has been very rewarding for all involved with Shalom—shoppers, volunteers, and organizations who receive funds from Shalom.

When the founders of Shalom realized they had more donated items than they could give away, they started selling merchandise to the general public while still giving free clothing to those in need through a “Clothing Voucher.” At the end of 1982, Shalom gave over $2,500 to World Hunger and the local Food Pantry. Since 1983, recognizing there are families and individuals within the area in need of assistance, Shalom has focused the monetary giving to only partnering organizations within Isanti County.

Through December 2010, Shalom has given area Partners $1,295,910 in cash who have in turn given that money to families and individuals in need of food, shelter and clothing. In 2010, Shalom gave over $97,000 to various Partners, and honored over 400 free merchandise vouchers, valued at $10 each. In 2011, Shalom has committed over $127,000.

Shalom’s Mission is to assist individuals and families in Isanti County needing short-term assistance in meeting their food, shelter and clothing needs, by reselling donated gently used items to the general public at a reasonable price.

With the continued support of those donating gently used merchandise, volunteers willing to give their time, and shoppers who frequent our store, Shalom expects to continue supporting organizations helping others.

Shalom’s Partners through the years include:

Cambridge First Baptist Church – Benevolence Fund; Cambridge – Isanti Ministerial Association; Cambridge Lutheran Church – Restricted Use Fund; Cambridge Surplus Food; Cambridge United Methodist Church – Community Fund; Fish House; Fish Lake Lutheran Church – Community Needs; Habitat for Humanity – Local Chapter; Isanti County Christmas Project (Lion’s Food Baskets); Isanti County Food Pantry; Joy Lutheran Church – Restricted Use Fund; Kids at the Beach (Lakeside Christian Church); New Hope Community Church –Community Care Fund; New Pathways, Inc. – Local Chapter; Salvation Army Thanksgiving Meals – Local Chapter; Somewhere Else; Spirit River Food Distribution; The Refuge; Young Life – Cambridge.