This week we take a look at a local mission improving lives here in Marshalltown and around the world in the African nation of Sierra Leone. We asked church member and Second Chance on Third volunteer Karin Podhajsky to tell us more about the local thrift store and its mission:
If you’ve driven on North 3rd Avenue in the last year, you’ve probably noticed the big, new building with the canopy across from the Classic Carwash. That’s the thrift store called 2nd Chance on Third! Many of you will know the name Roger Hatch. He started an orphanage in Sierra Leone, Africa and then encouraged Carter Strand to start the orphanage in Sibut, CAR. [editor's note: both orphanages are called Jonathan's House] Roger and his wife Melanie organized garage sales for many years with the proceeds going to the orphanage. The garage sales eventually turned into a storefront. 2nd Chance on Third has been in Marshalltown for about 15 years, although the current building has only been open since November of 2021. 2nd Chance accepts donations of everything from furniture to household items to clothing. 2nd Chance has one full-time paid employee, Susanna Paul, who has a huge heart for working for God and serving His people. The rest of the store’s workforce is volunteers.
2nd Chance exists to help the Sierra Leone Orphanage. The store’s revenue pays its own expenses (utilities, insurance, salaries, etc.) and then everything else goes directly to Sierra Leone to assist the orphanage. Locally, 2nd Chance works with several organizations to serve the people of Marshalltown and surrounding areas. The store has partnered with local churches, the Food Box, CAPS, the public library, DAV and many others. Last month we helped a group of women who are opening a daycare purchase some baby equipment at a discount. Last week, we were able to make a gift of some new baby items to a very young Grandmother who has brand new twin granddaughters. She shared with us that up until about 3 years ago, she had resisted a personal relationship with God but is now living in the joy of accepting His forgiveness.
How can you help?
I started volunteering at 2nd Chance in April of 2022 after I met Susanna. There is always room for more volunteers! We need help receiving and sorting donations, testing electronics, picking up donated furniture, pricing items and putting them out for sale, running the cash register, organizing and cleaning. Please consider donating items to 2nd Chance. As you spring clean or work on downsizing we hope you’ll think of us. And please be a customer! The variety of items for sale is amazing and the inventory is always changing.
The store is open M-F from 10-5, and Saturday 10-3. At 9:45 each morning, Susanna leads the volunteers in a short devotion and prayer time. Early customers and guests are welcome in the prayer circle and we would love to have you join us. I hope you’ll stop next time you drive on 3rd Avenue to see what 2nd Chance on Third is all about!
You can also learn more about the store through their Facebook page and the orphanage in Sierra Leone through their website.