HOLLAND, Mich.– A mother and daughter from Fennville have teamed up to make a thrift store in Holland a success, despite a tragic start.
Barbara Ridlington and her daughter Angela began helping Mary Scholten, their pastor’s wife from Fennville-based Open Door Worship, during the store’s planning phases last summer.
Shortly after securing a location for the store, the group was blindsided with some devastating news.
“The first day we stepped [in the store] was June first,” explained Barbara. “We started going to work on it, and we found out that [Mary] was sick. And on August first, she passed away…that was supposed to be our opening day.”
Scholten, who passed away after a brief fight with cancer, was laid to rest a few days before the store opened on August 6, 2012.
“Opening day was bittersweet,” Angela told FOX 17 News. “But, overall sweet, that we were able to carry that on. That we could all feel her here.”
Months later, the store is still surviving and thriving. Scholten originally founded the store with the hope of helping people in need in places like Africa and India, but Barbara said the calling has changed.
“What we thought was going to be an overseas type project has really turned out to be something in our own backyard,” she explained. “We ended up getting involved in projects that we didn’t intend to.”
The store has reached out to help displaced fire victims in the community along with families in need during “back to school” time. The Open Door Mission Store also launched an initiative this fall to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Angela said a lot has also changed for her. She’s taken over control of the store and has been busy running the day-to-day
operations there as her new full-time job.
“This was a surprise, but I wouldn’t change it for anything,” said Angela. “I can feel what [Mary] would have wanted and I strive to do my best.”
The Open Door Mission Store is open six days a week. Hours Monday-Friday are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.
Donations are always welcome.
To find the store on Facebook, click here:
Or, send inquiries or donations to:
Open Door Mission Store
P.O. Box 533
Fennville, MI 49408