Four years, four stores

Rebecca Pardue to open four Humble Impression nonprofit thrift stores in four years

Rebecca Pardue
Rebecca Pardue

Four years since beginning Humble Impressions in Perry Township, Rebecca Pardue is working towards opening her fourth nonprofit thrift store.

“We’re growing with love and showing the love,” she said. “We don’t have lots and lots of money. We just have love. That’s what God keeps showing me. It isn’t the riches; it’s the love that Humble has to share.”

Long before opening Humble Impressions, Pardue said she was going through a hard time. She had borrowed $10 to get her son an outfit, but the thrift store was charging $12 for that outfit. The manager said he could not reduce the price.

“As I moved forward, helping in the church and the pantry, God was supplying my needs, too,” she said. “He guided me to what He wanted me to do.”

She opened the first location at 8236 S. Madison Ave., Indianapolis on June 19, 2012. Donations began pouring in and she continued to expand the space. She began lowering her prices and testing different deals. She says she wants to make sure prices are affordable for everyone in need of clothing, household items and other goods. All proceeds go to church and food pantries.

The second Humble Impressions opened at 3530 S. Keystone Ave., Indianapolis, in 2014. Donations have filled the 10,000 square-foot space. The Keystone location includes a furniture showroom in addition to the thrift shop. Humble Impressions also received its 501c3, nonprofit status in 2014.

In the meantime, Pardue was undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. After her surgery, she returned to Humble Impressions three days later.

Inside the 1609 East St. location.
Inside the 1609 East St. location.

“I was going to chemo twice a week,” she said. “I was right back at Humble. I wasn’t overexerting myself, but I was there. I don’t even think about it now. That’s how amazing it was. I know that God has me on a journey. When He gave me the vision of Humble Impressions, it was not in one community, it was several. How many is several? I don’t know yet.”

So far, several is four. She opened her newest location at 1609 E. St., close to the Garfield Park area, on May 1. The store is 1,700 square feet.

“Before Humble Impressions even came about, I wanted to step into this neighborhood and open a thrift store,” she said. “People are starting to step in. We don’t want to turn someone away that’s lost. We still have to love them.”

She continued, “People will step into a thrift store before they will a church. I don’t know how many people have found Christ by coming into Humble, but we’re planning the seeds. They walk in, hear the music, feel the love. To see it happening, that’s the joy.”

She plans to open the fourth location in Taylorsville in the fall. She is currently renting out the building to a man selling fireworks, to use those funds to continue fixing up the building and getting things needed for Humble Impressions.

“It’s just awesome how it’s grown,” Pardue said. “God moves us where he wants us. This year we’re stepping out in faith, trying to get grants. We would love if someone in the community could help with that, help write grants. We need more volunteers, more servants’ hearts to step out or spread the word.”

Rebecca Pardue and Mark Lynch
Rebecca Pardue and Mark Lynch

Pardue said the most rewarding aspect of operating these thrift shops is seeing the people she has helped, from little things such as giving away bread to families who need it to helping a person get back on their feet. When Mark Lynch first visited the Keystone location, he was looking to purchase some clothes. He then began volunteering.

“She is a wonderful gal and helped me out a lot, took me in here, and now I help out here,” Lynch said. “I feel much better about myself and about life. I was homeless; now I’m not. She’s been a Godsend.”

Lynch, who works installing drywall, also volunteers at the East Street location four days a week.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” he said. “It does help the community. Everything is cheap. It helps everyone all the way around. It would be great for people to volunteer here or the other stores. (Rebecca is) wonderful. I wish everyone could know how she is and how she does this.”

Those wanting to donate to Humble Impressions are recommended to do so at the Madison Avenue or Keystone locations since those stores are larger. For more information on the store, visit humbleimpressions.com.