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Community market leaders
The Community Marketplace Board of Directors

One Man’s Trash is The Community Marketplace’s Treasure

By Heather Poore


The Community Marketplace
118 East New Hampshire
Osborne
Open on Fridays, 9 am- 5 pm Saturdays, 9 am - noon.


It has been said, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Never has this proven truer than for The Community Marketplace, a second-hand store in Osborne that also reflects the strength in inter-community cooperation.

Three women formed the second-hand store in May of 1986 as “The Marketplace.” In 2003, after one of the founding women fell ill, the company was re-organized as a 501(c) 3, a non-profit group. The non-profit was formed by representatives from eight different churches in the community, including Harlan Church; Grace Brethren and United Methodist of Portis; and the United Christian, Assembly of God, Free Methodist, St. Aloysius and United Methodist of Osborne. The new board quickly discovered that the name, The Marketplace, was already in use by another company. So, they decided to add “Community” to their name: a good decision, since church volunteers from Portis, Harlan and Osborne all help each other in managing the store.

Then landlord wanted them to move. “The building was dirty and had other problems anyway. We had to cover the merchandise every evening to keep things clean,” recalls Phyllis Kreft, board member.

community marketFinding a new home was not easy. “We must have looked at 10 different buildings,” says Bonnie Coop.

In the winter of 2004, they finally settled on the old C&J Dinner at 118 East New Hampshire in Osborne. This building also had its share of challenges. Somehow, however, the board knew this diamond in the rough had potential.

All the plumbing had to be redone, years of grease had to come off the walls and gallons of paint were needed to spruce up the appearance of the outside and inside of the building. Over 300 volunteer hours and more than $17,000 came pouring in from private donors.

Four short months after beginning the remodel, The Community Marketplace was ready to open its doors. The building now sports a handicap-accessible restroom and fitting room, laundry room, storage room, discount room and even a sorting room, in addition to the main show room. Thirty-five gallons of paint and lots of dedication created a brighter, more consumer-friendly appearance.

It may be hard to imagine, but sometimes The Community Marketplace gets items that have never been worn or used. Donations are accepted at all times as long as the items are in “gently-used” condition. The donation box is emptied a few times a day. Once a week at least one representative from each of the eight churches come in to sort and price the latest finds.

The store carries coats, dress clothes for men and women, everyday clothes, a variety of children clothes, a baby section, house wares, jewelry and books. The store also offers a discount room that sells baskets and other items that don’t sell as quickly.

Even the industrial park businesses have taken advantage of The Community Marketplace. They have linked up with the store to purchase cotton rags that are made from clothing not suitable for re-sale.

Deposits from the store have more than doubled since the move to the new location.

Because this is a non-profit business and the volunteers are not paid, a majority of the proceeds go to community, state and even global causes.

Patronage to the store this past year led to a $1,000 donation for milk in the Osborne Schools and the purchase of turkeys for The Ministerial Alliance Thanksgiving Dinner. Donations also have been given to the Osborne County Memorial Hospital, Teen Challenge in Alton, maternity centers in the region, and the local library and museum also have benefited from the wide array of donated books and area artifacts that come through the store. Victims of fire in Osborne County are welcomed with open arms to pick up essential house wares and clothes. The total amount donated to various groups in Osborne and surrounding communities has totaled more than $67,000 since the store opened its doors in 1986.

What can’t sell through the store is boxed in apple crates and loaded for missions in Guatemala and Romania. The Community Marketplace has sent semi-loads of donations to these missions. “Very little is thrown away, we recycle as much as possible,”


 

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Last Updated December 1, 2006
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