Church’s thrift shop seeks help in relocation challenges


In the heart of Freeport, the Holy Redeemer Church Thrift Shop stands as a beacon of support and affordability for the local community.

Offering a diverse array of items at remarkably low prices, this vital resource has become a lifeline for families facing financial constraints. From clothing and shoes to household essentials and baby items, the thrift shop provides accessible options, with items priced at a mere $2.

Beneath the surface of this community pillar lie challenges that threaten its sustainability. The thrift shop’s relocation late last year from 23 W. Merrick Road to 87 Pine St. in Freeport was prompted by soaring rent costs, underscores the delicate balance it maintains between service to the community and financial viability.

Despite overcoming the hurdle of relocation, the shop now faces the uphill task of establishing visibility and overcoming financial constraints to continue its mission of compassion and generosity.

“It has been a year since the thrift shop moved to the new location, however, not many people are informed where we are operating,” Director of Our Holy Redeemer Human Services and Thrift Shop, Ana Sullivan said.

The new location, situated conveniently next to the Holy Redeemer Church in Freeport, has proven to be a game-changer for the thrift shop. With no monthly rent, the church can now allocate more resources to the heart of its mission – supporting and providing for the community.

The significance of the move was emphasized by Sullivan., who assumed the leadership role in November of last year. She said the thrift shop serves as an essential resource for the needy families of Freeport, offering a wide array of items at remarkably low prices. Clothing, shoes, household essentials, and baby items are all available at a nominal cost.

“The purpose of the shop is to sell the stuff we offer everything at a very low cost,” Sullivan said. “A pair of jeans is only $2, it’s very cheap. Here in Freeport, there are a lot of families who are in need. Families in Freeport who are in need look for places like that where they can save.”

Beyond merely providing affordable items, the Holy Redeemer Church Thrift Shop operates in collaboration with the Human Services Department, offering vouchers to those in need. Vouchers can be redeemed at the thrift shop, allowing families to acquire essential items without the financial burden. The shop’s commitment to supporting the broader community extends to addressing issues such as healthcare, immigration, and housing.

While located next to the church, its visibility is limited, relying heavily on word of mouth and church announcements to inform the community of its existence. Efforts have been made to distribute flyers, but the lack of a significant advertising budget remains a hindrance.

In an effort to address this, the director expressed the need for community support in spreading awareness.

Individuals can support the shop by shopping, donating , and volunteering. The shop is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, providing ample opportunities for community members to engage.

Sullivan has brought a transformative and compassionate energy that has revitalized the entire initiative. Her extensive experience in ministry and dedication to serving the community has reshaped the way the thrift shop operates.

She has implemented significant changes, streamlining the food distribution system to minimize wait times, enhancing efficiency, and ensuring that everyone in need is served promptly.

“I came here to reorganize the program and make it run more efficiently with more organization,” Sullivan said. “Before me, people used to wait outside, even in winter. I found a way to accommodate people. Now, people come here, and they don’t even wait 15 minutes. We call them in groups; they sit down, receive the food, and leave.”

As the holiday season approaches, the Holy Redeemer Church Thrift Shop is gearing up to provide support for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The director encourages donations and assistance to ensure that over 200 children in need receive gifts and essential items during the festive season.