WILMOT — When it comes to meeting the needs of residents of Holmes County and surrounding areas, the people of the community have been more than passionate about sharing their bounty. 

With hearts geared toward area youth, a group of Holmes County residents met to discuss a common vision. They discussed ways to provide resources for those in need, not just abroad but in the local community as well.

And in 2006, The Harvest Thrift Store was born. Its mission statement promises stores that will provide "quality merchandise to support local and international missions," while "honoring God with compassion and integrity."

The Harvest Thrift Store opened for business in November, 2006, debt-free. What began with a leased space in Sugarcreek has since grown to include a store on state Route 39 between Walnut Creek and Sugarcreek, and a second location in Wilmot in 2010.

"One man’s junk is someone else’s treasure," said Harvest Thrift Store Board member Paul Marner. "You can’t lose selling things that are already paid for that people don’t want. We’re putting things to good use here."

The second location was made possible by the generous donation of a vacant building by Milo Miller at the intersection of U.S. Route 62 and U.S. Route 250. He also donated money to help rehab the building.

In 2019, a property adjacent to the Wilmot store was purchased to expand that store to include an annex. This will allow the Harvest Thrift Store the ability to provide more merchandise as well as giving more space to customers and volunteers.

"The annex will allow the Harvest Thrift Store to display larger pieces of furniture," said Harvest Thrift Store board member Angie Yoder. "It will also provide a new storage and processing facility for staff and volunteers. The purchase has expanded the store’s facilities to 12,000 square footage."

The property was originally a hardware store that was built in 1842 and in more recent years it was a furniture store. Many people are intrigued by the store and stop by to see the old building that they once frequented.

Marner has helped refinish the donated building in Wilmot, trying to keep it as authentic looking as possible. He has worked in construction for more than 40 years and his skills have helped restore the building. He builds cabinets and furniture as well building homes.

"Variety is the spice of life," Marner said. "I can’t stand mundane. I enjoy taking on tasks and solving problems. I was able to put three doors in the other day. Now I’m working on trims and extensions."

The Harvest Thrift Store annex is filled with Christmas decor and furnishings. The annex will eventually house furniture, housewares, antiques, specialty items and other larger merchandise. Clothing, jewelry, books and videos will remain in the original store.

With the heavy traffic of Route 62 and Route 250 passing through Wilmot, the board members believe the new location will be a convenient stop for both locals and tourists. New parking has been added alongside the building.

Additional drop sites for Harvest Thrift Stores include New Pointe Church in Millersburg, Berlin Christian Fellowship, Walnut Creek Cheese, Countryside Chapel near Baltic, Barr’s Mill Church of God, Bolivar or Mount Eaton.

Guests are invited to follow Harvest Thrift Store on Facebook for current news or at harvestthriftstore.com.