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Fancy Finds resale store grows through dedicated volunteers


It all starts with a piece of furniture or the perfect accent piece once owned by someone. And almost every piece has a story.


“What comes to Fancy Finds comes from people who want their legacy to be one of charity to others,” general manager Charlotte Edwards says. “Their treasures become the means to help children, aging adults, and families.”


Open to the public, Fancy Finds is located at Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) historic Mills Home campus in Thomasville. What began as a fundraising effort now connects BCH with hundreds, growing into an ever-expanding retail store of salvaged and restored furniture, home goods, interior design resources, clothing, jewelry, and even enrichment opportunities for people of all ages.

Furniture—case goods in particular—come to Fancy Finds through donations. The furniture is often showing signs of daily use and in need of restoration and repurpose. Edwards and her team sand and paint the furniture and display it in the 2,500-square-foot store. Shoppers, many of whom become regulars, are quick to purchase these pieces for use in their homes.


“We find that furniture often comes to us from families who are experiencing life changes,” Edwards says. “Many are settling their parent’s estate or downsizing, recognizing that by bringing these pieces to us we are able to appreciate their gift and ensure the pieces are not thrown out but continue to be used—all while helping others.”


Since it opened in 2016, Fancy Finds has steadily grown beyond retail sales and into the ministry for which it was designed, powered by a growing volunteer base.


“God changes lives through BCH,” Edwards says, referring to BCH’s mission statement. “Fancy Finds connects people to BCH’s ministries in a unique way. We frequently encounter folks who are visiting campus for the first time. Our staff talk with them about our furniture repurposing process, and as we learn their personal stories, they learn about our many ministries.”


Fancy Finds is a labor of love for Charlotte, her staff, and the volunteers who help demonstrate practical applications of God making things new or repurposed. As each piece passes through Fancy Finds, those who donate, those who renew the pieces, and those who buy the pieces connect in meaningful ways.


The store is an ever-changing montage of goods for sale. Visitors often remark how great the space looks, even as the team of full and part-time staff and volunteers constantly rearrange and stage new items as other pieces sell. As the retail component became more established, Edwards and her team were able to expand the services to include pop-up vendor events on-site from spring to fall. Former BCH employee Linda Russo volunteers to help coordinate and market these events on social media. The events allow other makers to partner and showcase their creative wares, sharing a portion of sales with BCH.


Before joining Fancy Finds’ staff, Mary Alice Owens had been a vendor at one of the pop-ups. Owens, who serves as co-assistant manager with Kim LeSage, says, “Our staff have a shared goal, giving us all a sense of purpose and community.”


As throughout BCH, volunteers are a vital part of the Fancy Finds ministry. “They’re part of our BCH family,” said Edwards. “Some come every week while others once every couple of months.”


Volunteers from Welcome Baptist Church’s ladies group have made a lasting impact, returning regularly. Fancy Finds has become their meeting place and their mission ground.

Other volunteers do important work like picking up furniture and other items from donors’ homes. Items such as wheelchairs, canes, and lift chairs go to NCBAM, North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry, which serves frail and well-aging adults.


“When our staff and volunteers go to a home,” Edwards says, “they’re able to sort what we can use, what can go to NCBAM, and what we can share with Greater Vision Outreach ministry.”


Greater Vision is another growing BCH ministry that serves at-risk families through support with food, clothing, furniture, and guidance from trained client advocates that help families through a season of financial instability.


Craft workshops such as chalk painting have become another way Fancy Finds connects with and serves others. For a nominal fee,

participants attend workshops where supplies, instructions, and guidance are given to repurpose items they take home with them.


Creative, caring, and kind, Fancy Finds is a place full of people and stories—all with a purpose to repurpose, both furniture and lives.


Fancy Finds is open 10 am to 1 pm each Tuesday through Thursday. It is also open the first and third Friday and Saturday of each month from 10 am to 5 pm. The store is located at 201 - E Idol Street, Thomasville, NC at Baptist Children's Homes' Mills Home campus. (336) 474-1331 Email: FancyFinds@bchfamily.org


By John Adamcik, MAM, SPHR, SHRM-SCP—BCH Director, Human Resources

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