The Green Olive Tree reopened in the splendidly refurbished former quarters of Videos Etc. April 16, a very rainy day, marking another dramatic transformation by the 32-year-old thrift store that is a fountain of good deals.
“It’s magic about the Green Olive Tree,” said board member Jo Ann Perkins to gathered well-wishers. “It originated in a small Bible study group, and then they decided to make it happen.
“More than a half a million pounds of clothing from Crozet has been donated to Christian missions since the store opened,” Perkins said. “It’s all to serve the community.”
The GOT had been in two spaces in the old Fruit Growers complex for 31 years. “There were many close accidents with people backing out,” Perkins recalled of their last home, just across from the library. GOT volunteers seemed dazzled by their spacious new sorting area, the rear drop-off area, their nearby storage shed and all the easy parking.
The volunteers sang a hymn, “The Green Olive Tree,” based on Psalm 52, line 8, before snipping a wide yellow ribbon.
“The Lord has raised up this ministry,” said Nancy Virginia Bain, a GOT founder, with heart. “We treasure our customers. We are a ministry first and a business second. The Lord sticks with us. We say thank you for what is behind us, and to what is before us, we say yes.”
June Andrews, also a GOT founder, passed a rose to each volunteer and recalled aloud the names of volunteers who have died. Five of the original seven founders are still alive.
Rev. Sam Kellum of Mountain Plains Baptist Church delivered a benediction. “We trust in the potential of this place,” he said, invoking blessings on it.
A crowd of shoppers who had swelled as the ceremonies went on immediately started prowling the aisles, searching clean neat racks, well-labeled and brightly lit. There is more on display now than was possible before, said Perkins.
The GOT will not display clothing with language or images that they think “are not clean and should not be spread around,” Perkins added. But that leaves plenty of good stuff. “Our community is very generous,” she said. “We love to sort.”
Student Services handled the actual move. The GOT also uses two commercial storage units.