Bargain hunters can now find some thrifty deals in Greenwood, while also helping children earn an education at a school near Milton.


Bargain hunters can now find some thrifty deals in Greenwood, while also helping children earn an education at a school near Milton.

That’s because proceeds from the new Academy Thrift Store will be used to help control tuition costs for the roughly 400 students who attend the Eagle’s Nest Christian Academy.

“Students pay an average tuition of about $4,000 a year, but that doesn’t cover all the costs of running the school,” explained John Hoenen, the executive pastor at Eagle’s Nest Fellowship Church, which operates the 15-year-old school at 26633 Zion Road in Milton. “We’ve been trying to find additional ways to create some revenue streams, hence the thrift store.”

Academy Thrift, which opened last week at 12440 Sussex Highway near the entrance to the Greenwood Acres neighborhood, offers a wide selection of used clothes, furniture, books and other items, according to store manager Sherry Dasher.

“We’re also accepting tax-deductible donations to add to our inventory, as well as seeking volunteers interested in working at the thrift store,” she said. “At some point, we’d like to be able to start a benevolence program in which people will be able to trade volunteer hours for items, but we’re not there quite yet.”

Hoenen said the church chose to open its thrift store in Greenwood for two reasons.

“First, we found that the community was not being served by any other thrift stores,” he said. “And we also had the opportunity to move into this building because the landlord is a member of our church.”

Hoenen said the school, which serves about 400 students from Kindergarten through eighth grade, has students from throughout Sussex County.

“We serve more than just the Milton area,” he said. “It’s a broad-based, interdenominational school with about 80 different area churches represented among our enrollment.”

In addition to opening the thrift store, Hoenen said the school is taking on several other measures to prevent rising costs from being passed on to parents in the form of increased tuition, which last year rose by about $100.

“We’ve done everything from adopting creative ways to control our electricity usage and computer costs to refinancing our mortgage,” he said. “We’re trying everything we can think of.”