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County Road 11: Olive Branch Thrift Store

Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 11:32 AM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) -

As we approach Christmas, more and more charity’s and non-profits put in a lot of extra hours to make sure some of the less fortunate in our community have a better holiday season. One such agency is in Marion, where the Christmas spirit lives year around.

Van Gibbs and his wife, Crystal, worked at another thrift store in town and decided they’d like to branch out on their own. So about three years ago, with no more than a table, a few chairs and some prayers, the Olive Branch Thrift Store became a reality.

“And we started out with the bare minimum,” said Gibbs, owner of Olive Branch Thrift Store. “Like I said, we were pulling things out of our own house and tables and chairs that we had in the house.”

From that meager beginning, Van has seen his business grow into what it is today. And that’s a 20-thousand square foot building in Marion where shoppers can find most anything and everything. But Van prides himself more on how much Olive Branch is involved with the community, local schools, other agencies, the military and other services offered.

“We also have our computer lab that I wanted to start to help people that were in the area that might be able to have access to a computer. They can come in here and sign up and they can use our computer and our internet to be able to look for jobs, do homework, you name it.”

And while the thrift store business can be very challenging and often exhausting, Van says it’s also very rewarding.

“There’s two things about this business. You never know what you’re going to get and you never know who you’re going to run across. The other thing is you never know who you can help and I a firm believer that we’re all here to help one another. So I said this is my calling. I guess it’s my passion because I love meeting new people and new faces and just working with people. There’s no other feeling like it because some people help once a month or twice a month. We get to do it 356. We get to make somebody’s life better.”

The Olive Branch Thrift Store, finding old gems and treasures to sale and helping out many facets in the community at the same time. I’d call that a win-win. The Olive Branch Thrift Store is located at 6169 Dale Drive in Marion and their phone number is 601-207-8271.

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