2019 valley favorites



By Rebecca J. Barnabi

Browsing and purchasing items at the Valley Mission Thrift Store in Waynesboro adds to your closet and home, but also adds to the community by helping someone in need. The Waynesboro store was voted No. 1 in The News Virginian’s Valley Favorites for 2019. “We really appreciate the support,” said Greg Beam, Valley Mission’s director of marketing and development. “Our thrift store sales are crucial as they make up a high percentage of our income.” The funds raised at the Waynesboro and Staunton thrift store sites come back into the community to help locally anyone in need. Beam said that in 2018 the thrift store funds allowed for 669 community members to stay overnight at Valley Mission, and 99 of them were children. The funds also cover general operating costs and “contributing to us being able to provide the services those in need come to us for,” Beam said. “I think it’s wonderful. We’re really excited about that and that folks voted for us,” Beam said of the Waynesboro thrift store being voted no. 1 in the Valley. Beam, who has been with Valley Missions for three years, said he is proud of the staff and volunteers at the thrift store. “We’re really blessed to have that support all around,” he said. According to Valley Missions Executive Director Susan Richardson, the two thrift stores provide 50 percent of revenue for a 125-bed homeless shelter in Staunton. “We’re absolutely thrilled,” said Richardson. “We’ve come in second place for several years. To come in first is really exciting for us as a staff and an agency.” Richardson, who has been with the nonprofit since July 2012, said the Staunton thrift store opened in 1986. The Waynesboro thrift store opened in Dec. 2009 “in an effort to provide additional revenue for the shelter due to increases in client census.” After almost 10 years at 109 Lew Dewitt Blvd., the Waynesboro store is moving to 2800 B W. Main St. hopefully by Oct. 1, after renovations are complete in the former Powerhouse Gym site near Sharp Shopper. “I am sincerely grateful for the recognition by The News Virginian and the readers who are ultimately helping the homeless—one donation and one purchase at a time,” Richardson said. She said the importance of the revenue at the Waynesboro store “cannot be understated.” As of Aug. 13, Valley Mission was housing 102 clients, including 49 single men, 25 single women and 28 families. “The funds generated by the stores are truly making a difference in the lives of many families.”

Celebrating the Valley’s
Best of 2019

The News Virginian