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Molly Crusen Bishop: Discovering Mission Mart

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Several years ago I discovered a wonderful secret at a local thrift store. I had decided to write full-time and found the perfect writing desk at Mission Mart on Sterling in Peoria. The desk is a teacher's desk from the 1940s and is solid oak. I purchased this piece of perfection for one hundred bucks.

It was then I found out about Free-Book Wednesdays.

Every Wednesday the Mission Mart Thrift stores on Sterling Avenue and on Pioneer Parkway in Peoria offer four free regular books to customers. I now own a collection that is the envy of other book lovers. I have attained everything from the classics to modern self-help books, and all other genres as well.

I then discovered their 50-cent sales and I was in bargain heaven.

Once a week the stores choose a randomly colored stickered item and no matter the original price, it is then 50 cents. I have a lot of treasures now and have a lot of new friends that work there.

Mandi Lawhead Chester is a fantastic person and works very hard for Mission Mart. Leslie is a former employee who always had a kind word. Trish, Grandma Barb, and James from the Pioneer Parkway store are excellent and intelligent people who will go the extra mile for any customer. They all make people feel like family and hold a special place in my heart.

Mission Mart is part of a collaboration that helps serve more than 16,00 people. More than 50 different ministries help this asset to the city of Peoria and central Illinois, ranging from New Promise Women's Shelter, Youth Orchestra, Hope Builders, and the Teen Center. Those are just a few examples. By shopping at their stores you are helping reduce, reuse, and recycle -- something I personally love to do.

Mission Mart will be holding its annual huge Christmas sales at the stores on Sterling Avenue and Pioneer Parkway on Nov. 6 and 7. The Morton store will hold its sale on Nov. 13 and 14.

About the Author
Molly is a life-long Peorian and an author, speaker, and storyteller. She is married to Doug Bishop and has five children and one grandchild. Molly loves history and Peoria and loves to share her passions with anyone she can get to listen to her. She loves to research, interview, and write or speak about history. The youngest and ninth child of Don and Joani Crusen, she grew up on the West Bluff in the house her great grandparents built in the 1880s. She writes a historical column in Woman’s View magazine, and will be writing a column called The Peorian Perspective in The Peorian.