Tonganoxie celebrates new Good Shepherd building
Organization has grand opening Saturday
Good Shepherd Thrift Shop and Food Bank has existed for nearly 30 years.
It’s grown from temporary homes in its inception in 1987 to a long established building — the former Christian church — between Tonganoxie United Methodist Church and Tonganoxie Friends Church.
That spot in the 300 block of Fourth Street served the organization well, but the growing charity needed a new building.
On Saturday, community leaders, volunteers and others gathered to celebrate Good Shepherd’s newest home.
Dean Allen served as master of ceremonies for a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony outside the new store at 423 E. Fourth St.
The Rev. Ron Swaim from Cornerstone Family Worship spoke about the building’s history. It formed when 10 Tonganoxie churches joined together to create the nonprofit organization that assists those in need.
During his remarks, Swaim also spoke about how Good Shepherd has been a shining example of the body of Jesus Christ working in the community apart from church denominations.
Mayor Jason Ward talked about the excitement surrounding the new store. It opened the day after Memorial Day.
He said it was a “great day for Tonganoxie.”
“One of the most important gifts in life is giving back,” Ward said, noting that there are various ways to help others. “The sole purpose of this building is to give back.”
The organization’s board has representatives from each of the churches and has had two pastors from the Tonganoxie Ministerial Alliance. Swaim and the Rev. Jeff Clinger have been serving on the board, though Clinger no longer is on the board with being moved to a Methodist church in Topeka. He officially begins today.
Saturday’s ceremony concluded with a ribbon cutting. Many in attendance headed inside for snacks and refreshments after the outside festivities.
Janet Stuke, a Good Shepherd volunteer who served as the new building coordinator, said the outpouring of community support made the move possible.
“We could not have done this without all of them,” Stuke said.
Local residents who served on the community building committee were Allen, Ward, Stan Chellgren, Rick Reischman, Richard Bronaugh, Ralph Brown.
Those on the Good Shepherd board are Lynn McEachron, Dorothy Dunlap, Jenny Alden, Janet Stuke, Jean Pearson, Shirley Sheaffer, Pat Robbins, Lois Lee, Shirley Tice, Lyn Smith, Alfreda Ryan, Connie Putthoff and Nancy Duncanson. Pearson, Sheaffer, Tice, Smith and Putthoff joined Stuke on the building committee.
Good Shepherd purchased the building 11 months ago for about $72,000. The organization put another $25,000 into the building for plumbing work, as well as the heating and cooling system. Roof repairs carried a cost of about $30,000.
Stuke said Good Shepherd purchased the building through private donations specifically earmarked for a new building.
Store hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The store was open 9 a.m.-noon all days but Saturdays in the former location, but extended the hours at the new locale.
Stuke said the store has noticed a bump in traffic with the store being open for the lunch hour during the week.
And so many more thrift store customers and food bank/assistance clients are able to utilize the organization’s services because it’s now handicapped accessible. The new location covers 9,300 square feet, an increase of about 2,300 from the existing facility, which spanned two levels.
Saturday’s grand opening was two years in the making, as the organization formed the new building committee in 2013, Stuke said.
“It’s been well worth doing,” she said.
The former building is for sale. Interested buyers can call 913-416-0719 for more information.
To learn more about Good Shepherd, contact the thrift shop and food bank during regular hours at 913-845-3964.