by Stephen Mattackal
Second Act, the beloved Cedarville thrift store, approaches its seven-year anniversary this November. The store is made up completely of volunteers, is a non-profit, and is part of the Cedar Cliff Ministerial Association. The store is located on 50 N. Main St. and is open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It is run by Jill Mitchell-Kinney
“It was started by the Methodist Church in Cedarville,” Mitchell-Kinney said. “The older ladies in the church would put clothes out one Saturday a month and open up the church for people to come in and pick through whatever they needed. People began to donate to the Methodist Church.”
As this continued, the pastor of the church, Linda Davis, thought of making a thrift store. “About that time, our current building became available. The building was previously a used bookstore.” The building is leased at a reduced rent so that Second Act can “have more revenue to pour back into the community.”
Second Act is run completely on donations. Its major items of sale are clothing, shoes and coats. Additional items include toys, books, games and assorted donations. Second Act finds new homes for large items donated, such as beds and furniture. While cleanliness is a major worry for people that thrift shop, Second Act has extremely high standards of cleanliness, which have been raised by COVID-19. Each item donated is thoroughly inspected. If any item isn’t up to code, it isn’t sold in the store.
Behind the scenes we see the store’s main goal and primary purpose, which is giving away clothes and other items.
“People qualify for what we call a voucher,” said Mitchell-Kinney. “You can qualify for a voucher for many, many reasons. You might be low income, you might need food stamps, you may have fallen on hard times and lost your job.”
Families that have a voucher are allotted a certain amount of money each month to spend in the store. Any profit made from Second Act goes to people in need. Because Cedarville has a lot of public housing and displaced people who don’t always have or can afford what they need, Second Act helps them. They do this not only by giving them store vouchers, but money made in profit goes towards paying people’s bills, rent and for additional help.
“We often get referrals for families that are displaced for one reason or another. We can then jump in and offer physical help, but we can also do referrals to county agencies so they can get additional help so they can get re-established,” Mitchell-Kinney said.
Second Act also has vouchers for missionary kids and missionaries, “When some of them come back on furlough and have no winter clothes, it’s nice for them to pop in and get the basics to get through a cold winter here,” Mitchell-Kinney said. “We also provide vouchers for people who take in foster children.”
Ilian Basle, a missionary kid from France, qualifies for a voucher. Second Act’s ministry has blessed him during his time at Cedarville University. Ilian, now a sophomore, went go to Second Act frequently as a freshman to use the $20 voucher given to him.
Traveling to Ohio from France meant that he wasn’t able to pack as much luggage as he wanted. Therefore, he wasn’t adequately prepared for the unforgiving Ohio winter.
“The location was convenient as it’s in Cedarville. I was also able to get sweaters and clothes for cold weather without having to break the bank.” Ilian said. “I really like the welcoming, Christian atmosphere. They don’t shy away from showing their faith.”
Cedarville University and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base bring a many people into Cedarville for either education or jobs, and a lot of people need help. Second Act takes initiative to help these people.
“I love the fact that these people come to little, tiny Cedarville, then they start meeting these really nice people, who hopefully receive them warmly. That’s where I like to see Second Act step in, and we do regularly.”
Mitchell-Kinney was asked about the difficulties Second Act faces, to which she replied,
“We have a large staff of around 20 people,” Mitchell-Kinney said. “They have to sort the donations, hang them up, make sure they’re in good shape. We also have to deliver donations elsewhere. I have to constantly ask for volunteers. We always can use volunteers, and I don’t require a certain amount of time or commitment. We always have jobs and work to be done, and so volunteers are welcome even for short periods of time.”
If you want to donate or want to give clothes, keep Second Act in mind. Second Act is also on Instagram and Facebook, be sure to follow them to find out about store hours, specials, and other info.
Facebook: Second Act of Cedarville
Stephen Mattackal is a sophomore Political Science major. In his free time he loves playing football (soccer), political discussions, or spending time with friends.