Gilda, Brandon Store Manager
Gilda is the store manager of Hillsborough county store locations. She has witnessed first hand how the thrift stores have become such an integral part of their communities. There is no end to the stories with how God has worked through Lighthouse to impact lives, but the thrift store is one of the extensions of the ministry that has direct contact with the community.
Customers have become part of the ministry’s fabric, like another extension of the family. Gilda recalls how a customer had lost their mother, and after her funeral, came in seeking comfort and support because they were “the only family she had left.” Many customers have also found the thrift stores to be a place that supplies opportunities to glorify God and bless others. Gilda tells the story of an individual who, during the Christmas season, will seek out a family who comes to the thrift store to make a purchase, and she “picks up their tab.”
The ministry thrives on the generosity of individuals who support the thrift stores with material donations, and appreciates all the time and effort that volunteers put in to help it function. Gilda shares how every year, a group led by a Ms. Barbra comes in to help put together food boxes for Lighthouse’s Hope center for Feed the Bay. This year, volunteers put in extra time to get it done because of scheduling restraints that complicated the effort.
Gilda says, “This has been by far the best place I have ever had the experience to work for and with. Thank you Lighthouse Ministries for allowing me the opportunity to be God’s hands and feet.”