Job Opening!

The Newton Et Cetera Shop is hiring a Sorter/Receiver for 30 hours/week: The sorter/receiver maintains an active presence in the processing area, in both receiving and sorting donations. He/she will be primarily responsible for sorting through houseware donations, placing items in appropriate price categories, recycling and discarding, as needed.

The full job description and applications are available at the store (619 N. Main in Newton) or via e-mail at Applications are due July 14, 2016, and can be submitted in person or by e-mail.

2016 Local Giving Grant Applications Invited

Newton Et Cetera Shop invites applications to their annual Local Giving Grant process. Local Giving Grants are made available each spring by the Et Cetera Shop board of directors. Applications should be submitted by email to by April 12, 2016. Over $25,000 in funds will be given to selected groups by June 2016.

Newton Et Cetera Shop is a non-profit thrift shop with a mission to provide quality, affordable, recycled merchandise to the community; encourage volunteerism, stewardship and recycling; and benefit the work of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Since opening in 1976, Newton Et Cetera Shop has donated over $3,000,000 to MCC.

In 2012, Et Cetera also began setting aside approximately ten percent of its proceeds for local community giving. Each Spring since, we have invited qualified organizations to apply for a grant from our Local Giving Fund. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Hold legal non-profit status
  2. Operate out of and serve at least one of the following local communities: Newton, -Hesston, Goessel, Moundridge, Whitewater, Elbing, Halstead, Walton
  3. Operate in a manner consistent with MCC, guided by purposes consistent with MCC’s (need not have religious affiliation or mission)

MCC Priorities: disaster relief, sustainable community development and justice and peacebuilding

MCC Approach: addressing poverty, oppression and injustice—and their systemic causes; accompanying partners in a process of mutual transformation, accountability and capacity building; building bridges to connect people and ideas across cultural, political and economic divides; and caring for creation

MCC Values: peace and justice–seeking to live and serve nonviolently; seeking to live and serve justly and peacefully in each relationship, incorporating listening and learning, accountability and mutuality, transparency and integrity

For a more detailed description of MCC’s core values, principles and practices, visit

For more information about applying for a Local Giving Fund grant, please contact

Et Cetera Shop Grants Funds to Twelve Local Groups

Twelve nonprofit organizations in the Newton area received a combined total of $32,835 in grants from Newton Et Cetera Shop’s Local Giving Fund in May. The awards have been made annually since 2013.

Bill & Junia

Volunteers Bill Regehr and Junia Schmidt work in the electronics department at Et Cetera Shop.

Et Cetera Shop, a community thrift store, began in 1976 with a mission to benefit the worldwide relief organization Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). MCC works to meet basic human needs by sending food or material goods to regions recovering from war and disasters. Currently MCC has offices in over 50 countries. Much of their work is done in partnership with other groups.

All items sold at Et Cetera Shop are donated used goods, and the majority of work is done by about 240 volunteers.

In 2012, the Et Cetera Shop board began designating ten percent of the store’s yearly profits for local community needs, and setting these aside in a Local Giving Fund. Since then, including this year’s amount, they have donated $74,000 to local nonprofits.

This year’s winners were selected from 28 applying groups. The organizations selected are Angels’ Attic (Moundridge), Agape Resource Center, Bethesda Home (Goessel), Community Playschool Inc., Free Grace Place (Whitestone Mennonite Church, Hesston), The Giving Garden (Hesston United Methodist Church), Harvey County Special Olympics, Heartland Pregnancy Care Center, New Jerusalem Missions, Secure Care program (Youthville/Ember Hope), Shared Living Program (Prairie View), and St. Matthews Representative Payee Program (St. Matthews Lutheran Church, Newton).

Many of the groups applying for funding emphasized the critical nature grants and donations play in their program.

“Harvey County Special Olympics is run by volunteers and operates on donations, grants, fundraisers and small assessment fees from the athletes to participate,” said Joey Catherine Schmidt, director of HCSO. “This grant will be used for transportation, food, lodging, and assessment fees for families who cannot afford to pay,” Schmidt added.

Board members feel the Local Giving Fund is one of the key ways Et Cetera Shop gives back to the community.

“Et Cetera wouldn’t be able to continue without the support of the many people who donate quality used items, loyal customers who shop here regularly, and volunteers who give generously of their time and energy,” said board member Pat Schmidt. “We feel strongly that sharing our proceeds with other nonprofit groups in our area is right in line with Mennonite Central Committee’s practice of partnering with community organizations in locations around the world.”

The Newton Et Cetera Shop board designates its Local Giving Fund for organizations with legal nonprofit status operating out of Newton, Hesston, Goessel, Moundridge, Whitewater, Elbing, Halstead, or Walton. Eligible groups are invited to watch for announcements about the application process and deadlines for next year’s Local Giving Fund grants early in 2016.


Et Cetera Shop to Give Money to Local Nonprofits

For the third year in a row, the Newton Et Cetera Shop is preparing to give a portion of its profits to local nonprofit groups. In 2013, Et Cetera’s local giving awards totaled over $17,000, and in 2014 $25,000 was granted. The amount set to be given in May 2015 is $33,000.

Qualified organizations are encouraged to apply for grants from the Et Cetera Shop 2015 Local Giving Fund. Applicants must hold legal nonprofit status, operate out of and serve Newton, Hesston, Goessel, Moundridge, Whitewater, Elbing, Halstead, or Walton, and operate in a manner consistent with MCC’s mission and principles. They need not have a religious affiliation. Organizations are expected to provide information about their work and an outline of how money granted would be put to use.

Et Cetera Shop has been a part of downtown Newton since 1976. Its mission is to provide quality, affordable, recycled merchandise to the community; encourage volunteerism, stewardship and recycling; and benefit the work of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and the local community. Mennonite Central Committee works around the world to meet basic human needs and promote peace and justice. Since opening, Et Cetera Shop has donated over $3,000,000 to MCC. Most of Et Cetera’s work is done by volunteers.

“Our 240 volunteers make Et Cetera Shop the special place it is,” says Cynthia Linscheid, general manager. “Day after day, they are smiling and ready to do whatever needs to be done. Et Cetera’s mission wouldn’t go forward without their dedication and hard work, and it is their energy that has made it possible for us to once again increase our local giving.” Arlene

Applications LocalGivingApp2015 should be submitted via email to by April 10, 2015. Applications will be reviewed by the Newton Et Cetera Shop board, and awardees will receive notification by mid-May.

Thrift Store Therapy and Inspiration

By Marlene Bogardred
My heart always beats a little bit faster as I get ready for my weekly therapy session.  What will I discover?  Who will I meet?  What new inspiration?  How much will I spend?
Oh wait, that money question is really a non-issue, since I love giving my money to this place! And I should clarify – this is the “thrift-store” version of retail therapy.
The Newton Et Cetera Shop is my destination, and it almost always satisfies!
As I wander about, my eyes brighten at the vintage, the slightly worn. I set my sights on fabric, household kitsch, wooden game boards, almost anything that could be used in an upcycling project for home or family.stocking

Last fall, I was delighted to find a 100% wool red sweater vest that I machine washed and dried (felted) and made into a Christmas stocking for our first grandson. I embellished it with some white embroidery.

I did the same thing to a thick striped sweater which turned into mittens for my sister.

Thecandlesn, after a Pinterest run one night, I raced in to Et Cetera Shop the next day to gather up women’s sweaters in red, green and cream.  I took a scissors to them and created some “candle sweaters.”  They look best in a grouping.

Once I found a large “fake” painting for $10 and painted chalk-board framepaint right on top of it.  With colorful markers, I now have a change-able sign that I place on the tall wooden easel I also found at Et Cetera Shop.  It’s great for advertising!

I decorate my home in vintage and so the shiny mid-clochecentury ornaments I have collected through the years find places all over the house. This time, they look cozy in a glass cloche. The small one I found at Et Cetera of course.

My weekly trips to Newton Et Cetera Shop give me a chance to imagine, experiment, craft, decorate and create unique gifts.  Yes, I purchase things on a whim. Yes, I sometimes buy stuff I don’t need.  Yes, sometimes the items return through the back door.
But it’s cheaper than therapy…you know…the other kind.bluegreen
Just remember – it’s not hoarding if the money goes to missions.  Ha!

I’m Dreaming of Virgin Resin Snowmen

By SarahImage Fleming

Former Et Cetera Shop

Assistant Manager


When I think of Christmas at Et Cetera Shop, “Virgin Resin Snowmen” is the first thing that comes to mind. Virgin resin – I don’t remember exactly how that started. I think my coworker Deb thought of it actually. It’s a reference to that manmade material that many knick-knacks are made of these days. During my eight years working at Et Cetera Shop, I saw a lot of that stuff. We’d sarcastically call them Virgin Resin just to make them seem more special.


The backroom donation receiving area can get kinda crazy, so it’s either joke about things like that or lose. your. mind.


And you see a lot of virgin resin at Christmas. If it’s not virgin resin snowmen, it’s virgin resin Santas, virgin resin ornaments of a dog with a soccer ball…you get the idea.

So, in the back room, sorting through donations of virgin resin snowmen that come in (even in July – those things don’t melt – part of the allure, I guess), it can get overwhelming. Who really needs all that? Why do they keep manufacturing more? Aren’t there already enough virgin resin snowmen in the world?


Still, now that I’m six hours away and can’t be at Et Cetera every day I miss my virgin resin friends – but only the Et Cetera kind. That’s the important part: the Et Cetera kind. Why? Well, first off, if you’re buying them at Et Cetera then you aren’t encouraging manufacturers to make more. Eventually they will end up in the landfill. I highly doubt they’ll decompose if they won’t even melt in a Kansas July.


Also, at Et Cetera they are cheap. A kid can buy one on a kid’s budget – “it’s the thought that counts!” You can nestle one on top of your fancy gift-wrapped package to your sister, and not break the bank. You can love it for a season…if it speaks to you like that Pier One commercial, great…and if it quits speaking to you, you can bring it back to Et Cetera for someone else to love for awhile.


That is what I like best about Et Cetera merchandise. Everything has a story and history and you are adding another chapter to its life when you bring it home. Virgin Snowman, Part Deux.


Now I’m in a whole different state with no Et Cetera Shop nearby. We have a pretty good little thrift store here, and I hope to volunteer after my baby’s in preschool and I have more time. I do miss that back room madness. We’re in a smaller community and it’s a much smaller store than Et Cetera. That means fewer virgin resin snowmen. I went in the Community Cupboard the other day and had a little panic. Where were they? I miss the little guys. What if I need a little something to nestle in my gift of peppernuts for Elsie’s piano teacher? What if I just need a little warm fuzzy and don’t want to spend a bunch of money on something at the fancy home decor store down the street. Virgin Resin Snowmen, you are special to me. I miss you and Et Cetera Shop!


You folks in the Newton Et Cetera community have got it made…the largest selection of name brands in town, plus virgin resin snowmen galore. You keep donating and buying, and I’ll keep dreaming.

From Macklemore to MCC: Local Thrift Shopping for a Poor College Student


From Macklemore to MCC: Local Thrift Shopping for a Poor College Student

If you removed all the clothes from my closet that I bought at the store they originally came from, I’m not sure you’d notice a big difference—or that anything was in fact missing. That’s because I am a thrift-shopping addict. This healthy(ish) obsession started about five years ago when I started working at the Newton Et Cetera Shop during the summer. Needless to say, working at a thrift store made it a lot easier to regularly find clothes that worked for me.


As I transitioned from high school to college, and more and more of my money went to pay for books and classes, my interest in thrift shopping grew. Now when I go to the mall, I have to talk myself into buying things instead of out of it. As singer/songwriter Macklemore (one of my current favorites) puts it in his recent chart-topping hit “Thrift Shop”:


I’m like, “Yo – that’s fifty dollars for a T-shirt.”

Limited edition, let’s do some simple addition

I call that getting tricked by a business

Thrift shopping is one of the most convenient, effective, and meaningful ways of money saving. First, thrift shopping in your home community helps support local businesses. It’s not only handy to shop in your own town for travel reasons, but it’s also a great way to connect with the people you share space with. Secondly, many thrift shops—including Et Cetera Shop—are affiliated with charitable organizations which help people in the community, and all over the world. Every donation and purchase at our store is helping someone somewhere through Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a worldwide relief and peacemaking organization.

And third, you just can’t beat the prices at a thrift store. If you’re on any sort of budget, thrift shopping is the way to get good quality clothes at the most reasonable prices. Of course, thrift stores aren’t just for clothing, but also housewares, furniture, books, electronics, toys, fabric, and much more. You name it, and I’m sure that at one point we’ve had it at Et Cetera Shop.  

Thrift shopping is close to my heart, and as important to me spiritually as it is financially. Knowing that my purchases mean something not only to me, but to someone in need, is an amazing comfort in a world overrun with consumerism. This is not to say I’m condemning traditional shopping. I know there are times when you can’t find everything you need second hand. I’m simply saying that for me, and I hope for some of you out there, the realm of thrift shops is a comforting and uplifting space to hang out in.

Hey, it was ninety-nine cents! (Bag it)

Coppin’ it, washin’ it, ’bout to go and get some compliments

Passin’ up on those moccasins someone else’s been walkin’ in

Savin’ my money and I’m really happy that’s a bargain, kids!

ImageBecca Epp

Newton Et Cetera Shop sorter and Bethel College senior