During a time when so many people are struggling with their own finances, our expanding chain of shops is more and more the lifeblood of the cash needed to support our work. For Christians and churches looking to reach out to the desperate and deprived both here and overseas, supporting one of our existing 22 shops, or helping us start a brand new one, is a great form of ministry.
But, there is more….. over half of the aid sent overseas is donated via the shops; even the clothing which is too bad to use raises 50p a kilo (£500 a tonne). IAT shops are different, we believe! They are the practical outreach of a living church, staffed and supported by Christians and non-Christians, reaching into the community, providing a listening ear and comforting word, and enabling groups of willing volunteers to raise thousands of £££s every week of every year in the service of others.
Over a hundred non church attendees visit just one of our shops in a week, with half of them being first time customers. What an opportunity to talk with those who may never go through the local church doors. Add to that, the support a good charity shop is to those in need in the local community, there is plenty of evidence to the good, before you look at the £400+ a week profit that one shop can raise for the Lord’s work! And, unlike most fundraising events, that is every week of the year. In 2009 one of our shops, supported by local churches, raised over £55,000 after costs had been deducted! And, every penny is spent in His Name in the service of others.