Who loves a bargain?? *This girl!* Even better is when finding a bargain means giving back to the community. Check out Bringing Hope Thrift Store and you’ll see what I mean…
The Big Country is home to many people with Big Hearts! I’ve been blessed to meet some exceptionally thoughtful, community-minded people. Amanda and Chris are caring and patient, and have spent themselves for the community they love.
Amanda started a resale shop many years ago, selling clothes and other items. I asked her what sparked her passion for helping people, and she told me about a woman she met before her shop was called “Bringing Hope”. This lady was at the nearby Goodwill in a robe. She asked if she could get some clothes because her home had been destroyed the night before in a fire. She lost everything. The employee at Goodwill told her there was nothing they could do for her, not even help her with one outfit to help her out of her robe. Another patron knew Amanda and approached the woman and brought her to Amanda’s shop.
Upon hearing her story, Amanda put together items for the lady and gave them to her, free of charge. She has a heart to help people with their immediate needs.
When we first moved to Brownwood, we were very fortunate to be given tons of clothes from community programs. We had so many clothes, we didn’t know what to do with them. I called around town and asked several different stores if we could donate the clothes, but I didn’t want them resold. They were given to us, and I really did not want anyone to make a profit from them.
Multiple community shops (I won’t name them all) told me they would be happy to collect the clothing and could guarantee a cheap resale price, but they agreed that they do not give away clothing.
Let’s be real: there is so much excess clothing in this country that when there is a global catastrophe, Americans donate enough clothes to stop up airports.
When I contacted her, 4 years ago, she assured me that the clothing items I donated would be given, free of charge, to families in need.
But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”James 2:18 NASB
Amanda and Chris live out that verse every day. They see people who are in need and they work to meet those needs.
They do not run a non-profit business!
They sell appliances, jewelry, knick-knacks,
books (actually, those are mine. All Mine. My Precious.), clothing, and all kinds of other cool stuff. I’ve seen a stuffed giraffe the size of a pony! Everything is reasonably priced, and you never know what kind of treasures you can take home with you. Additionally, Amanda and Chris will minister to you. They are happy to pray with and for you. They will try to bring a smile to your face, no matter what kind of day you’ve had. They care. They spread love.
Each year, they put together multiple outreach programs, in addition to the daily support they provide for people who enter their shop.
For the last 3 years, Bringing Hope Thrift Store has pulled off an awesome school drive, giving 100 backpacks or more to families. They gather donated supplies over the summer, and then they get the lists from schools in Brown County. Families can sign up before school starts and Amanda and Chris pack backpacks specifically to meet each individual family’s needs. They get these supplies from local donors, church organizations, and out of their own pocketbooks. They are Bringing Hope to School Kids.
Throughout the year, Bringing Hope keeps hygiene products and coats that are donated set aside for homeless or very needy persons. On Christmas Eve, Chris and Amanda and kiddos deliver dozens of care packages around town that contain snacks, hygiene items, socks, gloves, and gift cards. They take in donations and pack these bags to let homeless locals and transients know that they are remembered. The holidays are a lonely time for everyone, and Bringing Hope succeeds in living up to its name by reminding our community that they are loved.
I’ve known Amanda and Chris for the last couple years. I like visiting their shop and finding treasure, but I probably should stop by more often. I cannot stress enough how much they impress me by showing their faith in real action. I feel compelled to remind readers that they do not run a non-profit ministry or organization.
They sell a variety of items to support their beautiful habit of spreading love.
I asked Amanda if there was anything specific she wanted to tell readers, and she humbly told me:
“This is God’s shop. I’m a middle man… It’s Him leading me and it’s the people supporting us that make this possible. Without God and our supporters, there is no way I could do anything.”
She truly is Jesus’s hands and feet extended. God bless Bringing Hope Thrift Store and may they continue to Bring hope to our community.