MCCONNELSVILLE, OHIO (Morgan County Herald) - One of the best kept secrets in Morgan County is the Home Repair Warehouse Club in Malta, according to Jamie White, who volunteers numerous hours at the center.
The Warehouse Club is housed in a 17,000-square-foot space on Malta’s Main Street…and that 17,000 square-foot space is virtually filled to the rafters with windows, doors, towel racks, welding supplies, ceramic tile, hundreds of windows, hinges, bathtubs, shower stalls, commodes, and sinks, just to touch on a few of the name brand items which are available for sale at an unbelievable price.
Not everything in the Warehouse Club is for sale.
“Last year we gave away over $300,000 worth of donated products to the people of Morgan County and our neighboring counties of Muskingum, Perry, and Noble,” White said.
The Home Repair Warehouse Club in Malta has a joint interest with World Vision out of Philippi, WV. World Vision has a number of storehouses that are located all over the United States that operate similarly to the facility in Malta.
All of the items in the Malta facility have been donated, and White said the IRS allows non-profits to recoup some of the cost of operating expenses.
Membership in the Warehouse Club is $10 per year and members are asked to donate eight hours of volunteer time.
“We have been pretty slow to implement this,” White said. “Everything that comes to the Thrift Store comes through the Donation Station on Front Street. Pat Page heads up the Donation Station. People work off community service time, or various types of public assistance, such as Food Stamps.”
“People are also working here through the ‘Make a Difference’ program which assists people needing financial help from time to time. That is limited to $100 to $150 per year. Because of the economy, there are people who need more help than that,” he said.
“If they need a refrigerator, rent money, medical help, or assistance in paying their utility bills, we give them an opportunity to come and give what they can, whether it be time or talent. We qualify that time at $8.00 to $10 per hour. If they need a refrigerator and we have one, they work off the time to get the refrigerator paid for. That is only possible by the profits of our sales – whether it is in this building or in the Thrift Store,” he continued.
Morgan County United Ministries owns the building. The Thrift Store, the Manna Harvest Food Pantry, and the offices are all housed in the Ministry Center, which is on Fourth Street across from the Malta United Methodist Church.
“We help 600 people a month out of the Food Pantry. Last year, through the various programs, 6,313 people from 417 households in Morgan County were served,” White noted.
Where does the “stuff” in the Warehouse Club come from?
“World Vision has people out there who work with corporations for donations. They get the donations lined up and World Vision receives them and sends them to warehouses around the country,” White explained. “There are centers like this in Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; and Houston, TX.”
“Four years ago, when we started entering into a relationship with World Vision, they realized they needed to change the way they do ministry. Instead of being direct providers, they wanted to become enablers. They wanted to enable the local people to do ministry,” he said.
“When Brent Watson (Malta UM pastor) was here, he was pushing that we get in the business of transformation…to transform people’s lives. World Vision was also going through the same thing. Instead of giving, people can work for what they receive. It is no longer a hand out, but a hand up,” he continued.
“World Vision is going worldwide. They are looking for ministries to partner with. We just happened to be at the right place at the right time to get this established. From a little town in Washington State called Federal Way, they decided to choose three communities to focus on,” White stated. “Morgan County, Ohio was their rural Appalachian focus. They chose Los Angeles, CA, for their metropolitan area, and they are working on an Indian Reservation in New Mexico for their third one.”
“We are testing out all their new ways of ministry. We can have an impact on fixing up people’s homes. When a Mission Team comes in, we supply materials for the work on homes,” he added.
Various other things come out of the Housing and Transitional Programs. White said housing is included in the Transitional Program. It includes helping people lacking education, where they are helped to get their GED.
“We help with their financial needs,” White explained. “We help with job training, and we try to show the love of Christ. Some people have gotten saved. We have helped with down payment money for housing, and they will pay us back. We have helped people get cars. Since the first of the year, we have received two donations of vehicles. Even if the vehicle is not functioning, we can get scrap iron from it. We sent two huge dumpsters of scrap metal to Polk in Zanesville.”
“In our Transitional Program, people are involved from one to two years, until they get on their feet. Sometimes we even manage their money for them,” he said.
Back to the Warehouse. White said items in the building are priced at half or less of retail cost.
“When a truck comes in, we never know for sure what we will find. Most of the time, we have the option of taking what they have,” White points out. “We received 600 Fiberglas entrance doors on one truck load. We also just received a semi load of note paper. We gave most of it to the Morgan Local School District. We still have one-third of the note paper, and we are getting another truck load of paper. We hope to branch out to Muskingum, Athens, and Washington Counties. We deal first with Morgan County, then with adjoining counties.”
“Churches get an additional discount from the already low prices,” he said. “We also give away items if people do not have money. Currently, we are offering a 30 percent discount off of our very low prices on windows. We will run that sale through the end of March. The weather is changing, and we have insect killer, shrub fertilizer, plant food, latex caulking, ceramic tile, kitchen counter tops, paint and stain, as well as light fixtures for all your spring clean up projects.”
“God gave us a vision and it just takes time to make it happen,” White concluded.
In addition to White, who is chairman of the board, Steve Jeffers is manager of the Home Repair Warehouse Club, which is located at 514 Main Street, Malta; phone 740-962-3400. There are no income limits, and the public is welcome to shop at the Warehouse.
Copyright 2014 Morgan County Herald
Updated 1723 days ago Article ID# 389345