For people who want to shop with a purpose, one option is the Samaritan Thrift Shop in the Williamsville Industrial Park on Route 54, east of Selbyville.
The tiny store – which sits adjacent to Bayside Chapel – donated $10,000 last year to four different food pantries, in both Delaware and Maryland, from their proceeds from selling second-hand clothing, household goods and boutique items. The beneficiaries included the Selbyville food pantry, the Pyle Center, Blessing House Ministries in Maryland and the Salvation Army in Maryland.
Nancy Scheffey, volunteer coordinator for the thrift shop, said their guiding Bible verse is Luke 3, Verse 11: “He that has two coats, let him impart to him that has none; and he that has meat, let him do likewise.”
“All items are donated,” said Scheffey. “And we take the items and sell them inexpensively,” she said.
The thrift store is a mission of St. Matthew’s by the Sea in Fenwick Island. The church needed to expand but had no space, explained Scheffey, so they started a new church, Bayside Chapel, which sits in the Williamsville Industrial Park, as well.
“Pastor Rich Evans got it started,” she continued. “It was his idea to utilize the building to start a thrift store.”
Shceffey said about 50 volunteers, from St. Matthews by the Sea, Bayside Chapel, other faiths, and some with no church affiliation, volunteer to keep things running smoothly at the thrift shop.
“It’s a good group of people,” she said, adding that they have a core group of 20 to 30 volunteers that are regulars.
The thrift store is self-sustaining, so it needs no money from either church. It simply operates on the proceeds of selling donated items. Because they have a fairly small space, at this time they do not take furniture or large appliances but do offer men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, books, knickknacks and other household goods.
Currently, the hours are Monday, Tuesday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Each month, they also offer a different special.
So how does it feel to be able to help the people in the community who most need it?
“To be real honest,” said Scheffey, “I don’t think we realize the need.” Unlike a big metropolitan area, where homelessness and poverty is often obvious, she said, rural areas are different in that the need can sometimes be more hidden.
“After the check presentation, I wanted to empty out my food pantry at home,” she said of the recent donation. “It’s real humbling to see the need.”