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Secondhand Gives A Second Chance

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MUST Marketplace

MUST Ministries’ MUST Marketplace has a new home, but the mission of giving back remains the same.

By Katy Ruth Camp

Everyone loves a good deal. But what if that good deal is also doing good? That’s exactly what happens at the MUST Marketplace, MUST Ministries’ thrift store. Proceeds from the MUST Marketplace go directly back into MUST’s programs, helping clients living in poverty with food, housing assistance, jobs assistance, clothing, medical care, and more.

“When we talk about the MUST Marketplace, we like to say that ‘secondhand gives a second chance,’” said MUST President & CEO Dr. Ike Reighard. “The generous donations that we receive through the Marketplace help us to create a fun shopping experience with lots of great finds at a low cost. And not only do we use those funds to help our neighbors in need, those very same neighbors are also able to shop here to provide goods for their families at deeply discounted prices, which they might not otherwise be able to afford. So, it’s a win-win-win, all the way around.”

For many years, the MUST Marketplace operated out of the MUST Headquarters in Marietta, just off US-41 near Barrett Parkway. When that building was purchased and occupied by GRACEPOINT School over the summer, MUST moved its headquarters to a newly renovated building beside the MUST Hope House and Donation Center, creating a campus of sorts for the nonprofit’s Marietta operations. This meant that the MUST Marketplace was going to need a new home, but Dr. Reighard said that was the plan all along.

“We have seen tremendous growth in the Marketplace, even with it being tucked up on a hill attached to our headquarters, so we knew it was time for it to have its own retail space and allow it to grow even more. This new location gives us more space for more items and provides more of a true, retail shopping experience,” he said.

After an extensive search, the MUST team landed on a 7,000-square-foot space in East Cobb, inside the Sandy Plains Village shopping center. Among others, the center houses the popular Movie Tavern and the Marketplace’s direct neighbor, Painted Tree Boutique.

The new location had its soft opening in October and an official grand opening on November 1. “We think it’s a great location for shoppers and donors alike,” Dr. Reighard said. “The new Marketplace is right in the heart of a heavily residential and retail area, and allows us to expand our mission and footprint to a new area of metro Atlanta. We’re thrilled with how the neighborhood has responded so far and can’t wait to see what’s in store with so much more space and walkability than our old location.”

Here’s how it works: people can donate gently used or new clothing, shoes, books, music, electronics, home décor, housewares, seasonal items, furniture, toys, and more either at the MUST Marketplace location (4651 Woodstock Rd., Roswell, GA 30075, Suite 100) or the MUST Donation Center (1280 Field Pkwy, Marietta, GA 30066). If you would like to donate furniture, MUST asks that you email the Marketplace team first to make sure they can accept it. That email address is crogers@mustministries.org.

Why thrift?
Thrift stores across the nation have seen a rise in shoppers for a variety of reasons. Some shoppers like finding a typically expensive item at an extremely low price (MUST Marketplace often has designer and name-brand items for less than $10) and other unique items that can’t be found anywhere else. Others understand the negative effect “fast fashion” has had on the environment and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with sustainable shopping. And, in the case of the MUST Marketplace, some enjoy the feeling of giving back when shopping at a nonprofit thrift store.

Small appliances for sale at MUST Marketplace.

According to ThredUp’s Annual Resale Report for 2022, secondhand shopping is expected to grow 127 percent by 2026. The report also showed that the global secondhand apparel market will grow three times faster than the global apparel market overall, reaching a value of $82 billion in 2026, up $5 billion from the projections of the previous year.

Currently, there are more than 25,000 resale, consignment, and nonprofit resale shops in the United States and studies show that most shoppers are between the ages of 18-24, which might be attributed to the popularity of TikTok users showing off their unique finds.

How can I help?
Shop! Donate! Volunteer! All the funds raised from the MUST Marketplace go directly back into MUST’s daily mission to help our neighbors in need. MUST helps to feed, house, clothe, and offer hope to more than 70,000 people a year. If you love retail or have a retail background, also consider volunteering at the Marketplace. Volunteers help to keep the store organized and well-stocked and perform tasks such as helping to receive donations, checking customers out at the register, sorting and pricing items, merchandising new inventory, and assisting with online sales platforms. To sign up for volunteer shifts, visit mustministries.org/vols-short-term.

For more information on MUST Ministries and the MUST Marketplace, visit mustministries.org.


Donation Etiquette

Consider donating if:

  •  The item is in good condition.
  •  You no longer need or use it.
  •  It has sat in your closet for too long with little use.
  •  It is no longer your style.
  •  It is now too big or too small.
  •  You are downsizing to a new house and no longer have room for everything.
  •  It was a gift that you’ll never use but can’t return.
  •  Someone you know has passed away and you would like for their belongings to go to a good cause.

Please do not donate if:

  •  The item has significant damage.
  •  It no longer functions properly.
  •  It has not been cleaned or would need more than minor dusting.
  •  You do not foresee someone wanting to buy it or use it.
  •  You think you would regret donating it and want it back, as donations are final.
  •  You do not have permission to donate the item.
  •  It is missing parts or the full set.

MUST Marketplace
Sandy Plains Village, 4651 Woodstock Rd Roswell, GA 30075, Suite 100 (in the same complex as the Movie Tavern)

Store Hours: Monday – Saturday,
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Donation Hours: Monday – Saturday,
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

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