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Humble Jumble Shop gives back to community

Humble Jumble Shop volunteer Laurel Rea straightens an angel, which is part of the shop's Christmas room. All proceeds of this year's Christmas room will be donated to Project Jason. Photo by Jaclyn Schulte

The Catholic Voice

            Humble Jumble Shop. Those words alone might draw some people into a store out of pure curiosity.

'People have more fun with the name," said Jane LaHood, co-founder and creator of the thrift shore below Holy Name School. 'They call it mumble jumbo or some other form of the name, we thought that it kind of fit where we were."

The store, open since 1986, was the brainchild of Jane LaHood and her husband, Tom, after one of Holy Name's annual festivals. 'We always did the white elephant market and the gym would be full of stuff," said LaHood. 'Then after two days of the festival we had to come up with something to do with all the stuff."

And so Humble Jumble was born.

Two former classrooms-turned-storage-units were cleared, donated carpet was laid and poles connected lockers together as the first shelves and racks were created. The store has been evolving ever since. 'The Lozier Corporation donated many of the new shelves and we have purchased some as well," said LaHood.

Donations to the store come from parishioners, school alumni and people in the community. Items in the store range from clothing to dining room sets, dishes to baby carriages. 'We have had one of everything I think," LaHood said.

New donations are accepted all the time, but must be dropped off during store hours and the items must be clean and usable. 'We have to also be careful not to take what we do not have space for," LaHood said.

The store also takes pride in giving back to the community through donations and by allowing community and parish organizations "“ such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, parish choir and religious education "“ to run the store each Saturday. The groups keep all the money they take in, LaHood said. 'We like to help other organizations with their projects, too," she said.

Christmas items donated throughout the year are held until Christmastime arrives and are featured in a special Christmas room. Money generated by the sale of the items in the Christmas room is used for a special Christmas project, LaHood said. Proceeds from this year's Christmas room will go to Project Jason, an organization created by a Holy Name family whose son has been missing since 2001.

The shop's accomplishments help the church as well as the Holy Name community. 'We have always wanted to have an elevator in the church for the elderly and handicapped to be able to reach all the levels of the church," said LaHood. 'It took four or five years, but we gave the church $100,000 towards the elevator. It has been up and running for six months now."

The nearly 30 volunteers, most at least 70 years old, can attest to the love, commitment and dedication many feel towards the shop.

'We are all here because we are members of the same faith community and we are bonded through our common beliefs," said Rosemary Holeman, a volunteer in the shop. 'Our church is not only the building; it is the people around us."

'Sometimes we grumble about coming into work, but it is a happy grumble," said volunteer Joan Millington.

A happy grumble? It somehow seems appropriate at a place called the Humble Jumble Shop.

The Catholic Voice

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