Women from Lutheran churches in the Saginaw area came together in 1982 to find ways to support the ministries of Samaritas, which is the fifth largest non-profit and is also the
largest foster care program in the state of Michigan. The idea of a thrift store that would provide low-income families and families in need with high quality merchandise at affordable prices or
direct donation for them appealed to their sense of serving both their community and Samaritas ministries. Volunteers traveled around Michigan sharing their idea with congregations as far north as
Alpena and as far south as Detroit. As donations began to pour in, teams of volunteers from area churches came together to remodel the former Unemployment Office at 2114 N. Michigan in Saginaw, which
they had purchased from the state of Michigan.
On June 3, 1983 the Action Thrift Store celebrated their grand opening with much excitement and enthusiasm.
The store has undergone significant changes in its 33-year history. Initially, the sale of good used clothing was the primary focus. Eventually, household items, toys, greeting cards, and knick knacks began to compete for space. In the beginning, donors were required to bring their donations to the store. In 2009, the Action Board of Directors purchased a cargo van and increased their donation inventory by offering to pick up donations at the homes of donors. The Action Van averages over 10,000 miles a year picking up donations from all over the state. As a result, the store inventories a wide selection of furniture and appliances as well as high quality vintage clothing and antiques.
At the end of each calendar year, the Action Board of Directories uses the proceeds from the Thrift Store to fund grant requests from the agencies of Samaritas. These agencies include adoption and foster care services for children, assisted living and nursing home facilities for seniors, refugee services for victims of war and political unrest, group homes for the physically and mentally challenged, and resource facilities for battered and abused women and children. Neighborhood House and Luther Manor of Saginaw are under the umbrella of Samaritas. To date, over a half million dollars has been awarded in the form of grants from the Action Thrift Store to the Samaritas organization!