Relationships at heart of Anna’s Closet

TROY — In 2006, New Path Outreach Ministries opened its first resale shop, Anna’s Closet, at 1405 S. County Road 25-A in Troy reselling gently-used clothing and home furnishings.

The main purpose for establishing the store was and continues to be to provide clothing at no cost to families in need identified through New Path, a 501(c)3 charitable organization whose mission is to love our neighbors by assisting with basic needs and creating a community that supports stability and fosters transformation.

Sales revenues from Anna’s Closet also supports all the ministries under the umbrella of New Path, including but not limited to, G.I.V.E. Medical Ministry, Food Pantries, The Gleaning Place, J.J.’s Furniture and C.A.R. Ministry.

Resale shops, also known as thrift stores like Anna’s Closet are the fastest-growing segment of the retail industry. The National Association of Resale and Thrift Stores reports that in 2014, 16 to 18 percent of Americans shop at thrift stores. In fact, more people will visit a resale store than an outlet mall this year.

Over the past nine years, the store has thrived on valuable relationships with families in need, donors, shoppers and local support agencies, including Partners in Hope, Fish of Miami County and The Franklin House.

The non-profit organization is named after Anna, the biblical prophetess mentioned only once in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2. Anna was an elderly widow who never left the temple, worshiping, fasting and praying day and night. In her time, women did not hold value; however God used Anna, an aged widow, to serve. The mission/ministry of the women at Anna’s Closet is to serve with the heart of Anna and to reveal the love of Jesus. “The servants at our shop want to model the prophetess, Anna,” shares manager, Brenda Slifer. “We want people to know that they hold value, no matter their gender, age or education.”

“We are very excited to have Brenda Slifer return to the ministry of Anna’s Closet,” shares Bill Lutz, executive director of New Path Inc. “Brenda brings a passion for Christ and a energy for people that is welcomed not only at Anna’s Closet, but throughout all of New Path’s ministries. The good work done by our dedicated servants at Anna’s Closet helps people meet basic needs, find transportation and medical assistance and benefit from a whole host of ministries at New Path.”

The A-Team has reunited at Anna’s Closet with the return of Brenda,” shares Lutz. Servants Jan Rust and Elaine Meyers have been at Anna’s Closet from day one and are excited to use their gifts in partnership Brenda.

The ministry of Anna’s closet thrived under Brenda’s leadership for more than eight years; however, she look a leave of absence to take care of her aging father and stepmother in another state. After six months of care, Brenda’s parents have passed on and she has returned to Anna’s Closet to continue the work of this ministry.

With the return of Slifer and her A-Team, Anna’s Closet will host a holiday preview open house, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13 and 14. Friends old and new are invited to begin their holiday shopping at Anna’s Closet, enjoy refreshments and meet the servant team.

To stock up for this event, gently-used clothing and household goods are now being accepted at the store, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donations can also be included with the New Path food drive held at Ginghamsburg Church the first weekend of every month. Donations are also accepted from local retailers who wish to reduce their overstocks and end-of-season clothing.

The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) reports that the average American generates 60 pounds of textile waste each year. That’s 19 billion pounds of textiles, 85 percent of which is sent to landfill. As society shifts towards decluttering our communities, landfills and homes, Americans are looking for worthwhile organizations to donate.

“Many of our generous donors have expressed that they want their items to go for a need,” Slifer said. “As a part of New Path, we can reassure our supporters that their clothing, shoes and purses are a blessing to those in our community.”

Hours of operation are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 .m. More information about Anna’s Closet can be found at Like and follow Anna’s Closet on Facebook.