After a family mission trip to Belize with several other members of the Church of the Cross, Kim Perri asked God how she could make an impact in her own community.
Soon after, Perri did a Bible study with a women's group at her church. The study's DVD mentioned two women who went on a mission trip and came back with the same feelings Perri had -- "How can we make a difference in our community? What do we bring back?"
The two women decided to organize yard sales and give all the proceeds to mission work. But they had so much stuff left over from the sales that they decided to open a thrift store, and they made $65,000 for missions in the first year.
Perri felt that Bible study was God's way of urging her to do the same thing -- open a thrift store to benefit her church's various ministries.
"(The Belize trip) impacted our family so profoundly that I was like, 'Wouldn't it be cool for us to have a way to fund mission trips for other families?'<2009>" Perri said. "You go to some place like Belize, and you see peoplt don't even have shoes or clothes. And then you come back, and you're like, 'Oh my gosh, we are so blessed.'<2009>"
Perri approached the Rev. Chuck Owens of the Church of the Cross to ask what he thought of the idea. After further discussion, Owens gave Perri his blessing to begin looking for a building for the thrift shop, and at the end of April she found a spot. Perri said since the beginning of this venture, everything has fallen into place so smoothly -- like the pieces of a perfectly planned puzzle.
"(God) has provided everything we needed," Perri said.
God's Goods already is stocked full of everything from clothing and housewares to furniture and electronics. "The donations are pouring in," Perri said.
Perri has more than 70 volunteers helping with the store. She and her crew are eager to start serving the community and will host a grand opening at 10 a.m. Saturday. The public is invited to stop by for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, live music and a blessing by Owens.
Proceeds of God's Goods will go towarreach ministries at the Church of the Cross, whichinclude foreign mission trips and local missions such as the church's food bank. God's Goods business manager Leo Tarkett said the food bank serves about 150 people every week.
In addition to raising money for those ministries, Perri said God's Goods will give the people of Bluffton a great place to shop for discounted items. The store will accept donations of seasonal clothing and just about everything else. And Perri said there's no need to worry about anything going to waste. If the thrift store can't sell items, they will be given to Bluffton Self Help or the Old Savannah City Mission.
"We can all share the wealth because we're all way, way blessed," Perri said.