Outreach Community Ministries in transition with leadership, name change, new resale store

Outreach Community Ministries in transition with leadership, name change, new resale store

  • Former Outreach Community Ministries president and CEO Chris Ellerman is now the Outreach director of operations for social enterprises, such as the Jubilee Furniture resale shops.

    Former Outreach Community Ministries president and CEO Chris Ellerman is now the Outreach director of operations for social enterprises, such as the Jubilee Furniture resale shops. Courtesy of Rachael Watson Photography Inc./Outreach

 
 
Posted5/24/2022 6:00 AM

It's a time of transition and expansion for Outreach Community Ministries.

Since the 1970s, the Carol Stream-based Christian nonprofit has partnered with a number of local churches and religious organizations across DuPage County. Outreach Community Ministries helps neighbors with community-based services ranging from housing needs to employment and job training.

 

In March of 2021, the leadership of Outreach Community Ministries changed with the hiring of Nate Kaunley as president and CEO. And this month, Outreach Community Ministries has been shifting its marketing by transitioning to a sleeker new website (weareoutreach.org) and a rebranded, simplified organization name of "Outreach."

"One of (Kaunley's) assignments right out of the box was to look at our brand and look at our communications across all generations," said Chris Ellerman, the previous CEO and president of Outreach.

Ellerman has been with Outreach since 1977, but is still actively involved with the organization as the executive director of an endowment program called the Legacy Fund.

Outreach Community Ministries, now rebranded as Outreach, operates the resale shop Jubilee Furniture in Carol Stream. Outreach plans to open a Jubilee Furniture and Resale Store in Lombard this summer.
Outreach Community Ministries, now rebranded as Outreach, operates the resale shop Jubilee Furniture in Carol Stream. Outreach plans to open a Jubilee Furniture and Resale Store in Lombard this summer. - Courtesy of Rachael Watson Photography Inc./Outreach
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Ellerman is also director of operations for social enterprises, overseeing the Outreach charity stores like Discoveries Resale Shop in Warrenville and Jubilee Furniture in Carol Stream. The Outreach-affiliated Twice is Nice resale store in Carol Stream is owned and operated by College Church in Wheaton.

Similar to other nonprofits like the Salvation Army or Chicago's Howard Brown Health Center that operate shops selling donated items, Outreach got into running resale stores to help generate funds for its organization.

It began at the end of 2005 when Outreach received all the old hotel furnishings of The Country Inn in Naperville before it underwent a major remodeling.

"It was meant to be a six-week service project to sell all of that furniture -- a one-off effort," said Ellerman about the collaboration with the Wheaton Christian Center Church located in a former Kmart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
The origins of Outreach Community Ministries' Jubilee Furniture resale store in Carol Stream began in 2006 after the nonprofit organization received old furnishings from The Country Inn in Naperville in advance of a major renovation. Outreach plans to open a second Jubilee Furniture and Resale Store in Lombard this summer.
The origins of Outreach Community Ministries' Jubilee Furniture resale store in Carol Stream began in 2006 after the nonprofit organization received old furnishings from The Country Inn in Naperville in advance of a major renovation. Outreach plans to open a second Jubilee Furniture and Resale Store in Lombard this summer. - Daily Herald File Photo, 2006

"It was so successful that people started dropping off furniture to our sales site."

Jubilee Furniture moved in 2014 to its current Carol Stream location at 730 E. North Ave., and now a Jubilee Furniture and Resale Store is coming later this summer to Lombard in a partnership with the private Timothy Christian Schools in Elmhurst.

"We bring quite a large community of people who will drop off quality items for resale, but also volunteers to help with the store," said Timothy Christian Schools Director of Advancement Bob Venhousen, who added that the Lombard Jubilee store will also sell donated clothing, household goods and more.

The Country Inn in Naperville donated all its old furnishings to Outreach Community Ministries in Carol Stream in advance of a major renovation back in December 2005. This led to Outreach Community Ministries opening its Jubilee Furniture resale store, which will expand with another location in Lombard this summer.
The Country Inn in Naperville donated all its old furnishings to Outreach Community Ministries in Carol Stream in advance of a major renovation back in December 2005. This led to Outreach Community Ministries opening its Jubilee Furniture resale store, which will expand with another location in Lombard this summer. - Daily Herald File Photo, 2005

Funds raised by the new Jubilee store are to be split 50-50 between Outreach and Timothy Christian Schools. Outreach's portion will mostly be steered to its York Community Resource Center within the Taiwanese Community Church at 1420 S. Meyers Road in Lombard, while Timothy Christian intends to steer its share of funds toward assisting students with school tuition.

The Jubilee Furniture and Resale Store is being developed in the former La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries at 240 E. Roosevelt Road in Lombard. Both organizations are building a team of more than 100 volunteers to operate the location's 20,000-square-foot showroom and a 4,000-square-foot warehouse.

Though Ellerman is looking forward to the Lombard Jubilee Furniture, he had some major qualms about promoting it right now.

"People will want a phone number, because they're going to want to drop off furniture to our store when we haven't even hired our staff yet," Ellerman said. "We'll be opening the store this summer, but we don't have an exact date yet."

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