FAITH IN ACTION: Managing ReUse Store provides spiritual lift, helps families

(This is the latest installment of our “Faith in Action” series. If you have a story of how involvement with The Fuller Center has impacted your faith, please let us know at this link.)

Kristen Rimmer already had five back surgeries under her belt by the age of 25 — all stemming from a car wreck that happened with her then-5-year-old child in the vehicle. The operations limited her physically as she sought to return to the workforce, but she wound up landing a part-time job with limitless opportunity for helping others.

In April of 2015, Rimmer began working for the Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center for Housing‘s ReUse Store in Hammond, Louisiana. The store — along with its adjacent sister shops, The Fuller Shop and The Rabbit Hole — is one of the nonprofit’s leading sources of revenue. That revenue helps families make badly needed repairs to existing homes or partner with Ginger Ford Northshore to build new homes.

“From day one, I really enjoyed my job,” Rimmer says. “The enjoyment quickly grew to love. As I began to connect with our homeowners, establish a relationship with our regulars and, of course, build relationships with co-workers, that love grew to become a passion.”

Kristen Rimmer

Within five months, Rimmer advanced to a full-time position and she has since become the manager of the ReUse Store. Not only does the store raise money for Ginger Ford Northshore’s work, but it also provides amazing deals on many items and necessities — something especially important for people still recovering and making repairs from historic flooding less than two years ago.

“Seeing customers come in every day and hearing their stories of losing everything from our floods in 2016 was incredibly humbling,” she says. “You go home with a sense of ease knowing you were able to help these people in some way.”

Rimmer says that she tries to live every day by the biblical principle in Acts 20:25 — that it is better to give than to receive.

“I actually had it painted inside of my store,” she says of the Bible verse. “Working in a place where I can wake up and connect and minister to people who come through my store is an amazing feeling! It not only gives them the spiritual direction they desired but also gives me a spiritual fulfillment I could have only gotten by helping others.”

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