Detroit Lakes' Adventist Community Services reopens under new leadership
For a little over a month, the doors of Detroit Lakes' Adventist Community Services Center and Thrift Store remained closed, following the death of its former co-director. Now, with a new director in place, the center is once again open to the public, three days a week.
It was just before Christmas, right around Dec. 21, when board members of the Adventist Community Services Center and Thrift Store decided they needed to temporarily close the Detroit Lakes store's doors.
"We needed some time to clear out our old inventory, to regroup and reorganize...and to grieve," said Rev. Tyson Kahler, pastor of Detroit Lakes' Seventh Day Adventist Church, which has operated the center since it first opened on the church campus at 404 Richwood Road in 2011.
Kahler noted that the center's former co-director, Joan Russell — who had operated the center alongside her mother, Gertie Krogstad, for the past 10 years — died in November.
"She and her husband (Robert Russell) both passed away from COVID, within three weeks of each other," said Kahler.
Lacking leadership, and suffering from a shortage of volunteer help, the center — which is staffed by volunteers of all ages, from youth to senior citizens — remained closed while the board searched for a new director.
About a month later, longtime church member Dan Daniels stepped forward to take on the job, with Krogstad continuing to volunteer as co-director when needed.
"We just reopened today," said Daniels on Jan. 27, adding that the store had continued to serve the community, on a limited basis, while closed. "We went through and cleaned everything (i.e., outdated inventory) out — there was a lot of stuff we had to get rid of."
Under Daniels' leadership, the center will now be open on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon.
The thrift store part of the center offers a wide variety of affordable clothing, shoes, household and kitchen goods, books, toys, and a limited amount of small furniture pieces as space allows.
"The thrift store fuels our relief efforts," Daniels said, adding that the center's humanitarian outreach efforts include providing relief to families and individuals who have suffered catastrophic loss due to a house fire or similar event.
"They can obtain a voucher from the Lakes Crisis and Resource Center, Becker County Food Pantry, Mahube-Otwa Community Action, or one of our other partners," Daniels said.
With that voucher, families and individuals can obtain free clothing and other items as needed.
As an example, Daniels said, they had one family come in shortly before they closed in December and obtain 127 free items, including 60 articles of clothing.
Sometimes, he added, the church also provides assistance for state and national relief efforts, through partnerships with relief agencies like the American Red Cross.
"We also provide food baskets for families during the holidays," he said.
The center accepts donations of good quality clothing, shoes and other items; donors receive a receipt that allows them to make their gifts tax deductible. When cash donations are made, they are used to purchase other items to fill specific needs. Unusable donations are recycled whenever possible.
An informational sheet about the center says, "Everything donated to ACS is reused in some way. Virtually nothing is wasted."
For more information, contact Adventist Community Services by phone at 218-847-0067, or stop by during operating hours.