Bishop Davies Dedicates Arizona’s Fourth Deseret Industries

The thrift store’s true value is its “impact on individual lives”

News Release

In anticipation of the October 23 grand opening of a new Deseret Industries in Gilbert, Arizona, Bishop Dean M. Davies of the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reminded the local community of the thrift store’s real value.

“The true contribution of these operations is not measured by the number of donations received or in the value of goods distributed, but rather by their impact on individual lives,” Bishop Davies said Saturday, October 20, 2018, prior to dedicating Arizona’s fourth Deseret Industries. “We know that hunger, poverty, illness and other challenges do not discriminate; they impact people of all races, color and economic conditions. We are grateful to help in any way to restore integrity and dignity to those impacted.”

Deseret Industries is a nonprofit business enterprise owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Each of the 44 Deseret Industries locations (all in the United States) contain a thrift store, donation center and — most importantly — a job-training program. Employees receive training to find careers in fields that interest them, including medicine, dentistry, security, manufacturing, transportation and education.

The 54,500-square-foot Gilbert store has ample space to accommodate a variety of purposes, including operations of receiving, processing and sales; offices to facilitate the Church’s Development Counseling Services; and classrooms for job training. Bishop Davies estimated that on any given week at this store, 90 Deseret Industries associates will be working in the store and receiving job skills training; 3,500 or more customers will find quality clothing and other goods at discounted pricing; 30 bishops’ orders to provide clothing and household goods for those in need will be filled; and over 100 individuals will receive development counseling to help them progress toward their career goals.

“I hope that when you drop off a donation or volunteer your time at Deseret Industries, you will never feel that you are contributing toward a system of handouts, but rather that your vision will extend to what you are truly making possible, which is the lifting and rebuilding of lives — lives that have sometimes been shaken by overpowering circumstances,” he said.

Bishop Davies shared the story of Terr Howard, a successful construction contractor who rebuilt his life with the help of Deseret Industries. A devastating car accident impaired Howard’s ability to speak in complete sentences and stand for long periods of time. Though not a member of the Church, Howard accepted a Latter-day Saint bishop’s recommendation to begin working at the Mesa Deseret Industries. After a difficult 16-month period of working and progressing, he was able to re-obtain his contractor’s license and is now working again in the construction industry.

Terr and his wife, Stacie, were present at Saturday night’s dedication.

“We don’t know when our station could change from that of being a donor to that of being one in need of assistance,” Bishop Davies said. “Can we learn to look on both without labels and without stigmas? Can we give willingly of both our substance and our volunteer labor to sustain the services that will be provided to those who come to this facility for support? We never know when they may be one of our own. And even if they are not one of our own, they are one of the Lord’s own, and the way that we view and treat them, as He so eloquently stated in Matthew chapter 25, will reveal the way that we would view and treat Him. May we therefore do all in our power to ensure that no human life is wasted but rather embraced, uplifted and exalted.”

The Deseret Industries in Gilbert opens to the public October 23, 2018.

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