Volunteers at Crown of Life are carrying out a “labor of love” at Mission Wearhouse Thrift Store in Little Canada. This ministry has impacted the lives of people too numerous to count. The pint-sized store, blessed with a bountiful supply of donated items has become a distribution hub for a variety of ministries who serve the needy both locally and internationally. People of all sorts; from the elderly to the unborn, to those as close as the Twin Cities Metro Area and as far away as Russia and Africa, have been touched by their work.
The thrift store, located in a strip mall at 2756 Lake Shore Ave. in Little Canada, is conveniently located next to the New Day Pregnancy Care Center which is partially funded from store sales. Both ministries are overseen by Christian Life Ministries. When the thrift store opened in 2001 the owner offered a low monthly rent along with an option to purchase the strip mall after 1 ½ years.
Early volunteers from Crown of Life, like Dave Danner, Charlene Ohmann, her former husband Earl, and now deceased Chet Witz, had just begun a top to bottom makeover when an enormous supply of donated items landed on the thrift store doorstep; compliments of Wise Penny Thrift Store in Buffalo, Minnesota, which was closing its doors. Volunteers from Christ Lutheran in North St. Paul sprang into action, and by organizing a huge garage sale in the back warehouse area of the store made the first sales. Meanwhile, volunteers were scrubbing, painting, shelving and laying carpet rescued from the old Emanuel School. When the liquor store on Robert St. closed, Charlene’s son, Roger was able to purchase all the steel shelving for $20 and a note from his pastor confirming it was for a non-profit business. “Gently used” clothes racks were acquired after a telephone call alerted the cleaning crew that the racks had been tossed into dumpsters behind a nearby Hilfiger’s clothing store. Even the first cash register was donated.
St. Croix Lutheran gave hundreds a reason to shine at a unique prom held Friday, February 10, 2017. The school hosted Night to Shine for people with special needs, thanks to a grant from the Tim Tebow Foundation. Night to Shine took place simultaneously, in all 375 locations, 50 states across the nation and 11 countries around the world!
From the moment guests arrive, they were treated like royalty receiving VIP treatment. The ladies were ushered through to hair and makeup. The guys enjoyed a shoe shine.
Every moment, every detail and every memory made was special. There were corsages and boutonnieres, karaoke, limo rides, and of course, dancing! Every guest of Night to Shine experienced a red carpet welcome complete with friendly paparazzi. The highlight of the night – every Night to Shine guest was crowned as a king or queen of the prom.
All of the 200 honored quests were paired with a buddy for the night. Most buddies were student volunteers from St. Croix Lutheran.
Nearly 400 volunteers contributed to Night to Shine and 75 of those were from Crown of Life, ranging from the 8th grade through retirement.
Crown of Life Teens take the opportunity to volunteer at a neighborhood food shelf on their day off from school.
Mr. Fenske took five teens to Neighbors Inc. in early December to increase community outreach opportunities in Crown of Life’s youth program. In three hours the kids sorted, dated and shelved an overwhelming amount of donations that came in during the November food drive.
Not knowing what they were getting into they were pleasantly surprised and all said that it was fun and they would do it again. It’s always fun to volunteer with friends!
Thank you for your outstanding work! Can’t wait to see what you do next.