Thrift store

Shopping for a Cause | Journal review

Nick Hedrick | [email protected]

Wednesdays are reception days at the Wesley Thrift Shop, and Karen Thada had just returned from her shift at the office.

Shoppers looking for second-hand women’s clothing can be found hitting the shelves at the consignment store, which is a United Methodist Women’s ministry of the First United Methodist Church.

Bargain hunters can also find men’s and children’s clothing, housewares, shoes, handbags, books, and games.

“It’s fun to see what people report,” said Thada, who is the store’s board treasurer.

Thada was named the 2021 Journal Review Shining Star for her longtime volunteer work at the store and involvement in other community groups.

The retired college science teacher is the president of United Methodist Women. She sings in the church choir and plays bells during church services. She and her husband, Byron, are active members of the Montgomery County Master Gardeners.

“I’m sure there are other things I left out,” said Carol Spencer, a volunteer colleague at a thrift store, who nominated Thada for the award.

Indeed, Thada is also co-chair of the Women’s Legacy Fund as well as secretary and treasurer of the Crawfordsville Main Street board of directors, while helping to coach her grandsons’ Lego League robotics team.

But it is her work at church that Thada finds most rewarding.

“My mother was a United Methodist woman, and when I moved here and joined the Methodist church, these women welcomed me because I myself was far from my mother as a young mother,” said Thada.

Wesley started about 50 years ago when a group of First United Methodist women moved into a house next to the church.

“Instead of having a chicken noodle dinner or something, they decided it would be their fundraiser,” Thada said.

All sales benefit a list of local organizations including the Boys & Girls Club of Montgomery County, Meals on Wheels and FISH.

The individual commitments of United Methodist Women support group scholarships, flower deliveries to cloisters, and funeral dinners.

About 80 volunteers – including people from other churches – maintain the store, shopping for each other.

“We’re just having fun,” Thada said.