Last week, Crowded Closet Thrift Shop opened its doors at a new, larger facility located at 851 Highway 6, Iowa City, its fourth location.
More than 200 board members, staff, volunteers, friends from area churches and Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) representatives gathered to celebrate the new shop home with an open house and special dedication ceremony on March 24.
The following morning, customers waited outside in eager anticipation for the ribbon to be cut and shop doors to be opened to the public.
The grand opening celebration began with live music welcoming shoppers to the expanded retail space and yielded a record-breaking day of sales.
In 1978, a small group of visionary Mennonite women started a thrift shop in Iowa City, offering lightly used clothing and household items.
With the support of 16 area Mennonite churches and hundreds of local volunteers, Crowded Closet has experienced steady growth over the last 40 years, moving three times to accommodate growth.
The new facility, part of a former Kmart location, enhances and improves accessibility for customers and donors.
The retail floor is about 50 percent larger at 22,000 square feet with wider aisles and wheelchair accessibility, and a new covered drive-thru lane makes donating easy.
Crowded Closet Thrift Shop is a community nonprofit thrift shop, including a gift shop with fair trade items.
A group of 10 full and part-time staff and more than 300 regular volunteers serve to offer a wide variety of household and other items, including books, toys, clothing for all ages, vintage, international and one-of-a-kind items.
Together with countless donors and shoppers, Crowded Closet makes a generous impact on the community and world having achieved $8 million in giving to support local and global relief through MCC.
This includes more than $50,000 in resources shared annually through partnership with local helping agencies such as CommUnity, an organization based in Iowa City that provides immediate support for individuals facing emotional, food, or financial crisis. Crowded Closet is part of the MCC Thrift Shop network.