Thrift by Harvest Time International – A family-friendly feel-good thrift store

Thrift by Harvest Time International – A family-friendly feel-good thrift store

Thrift by Harvest Time International is a family-friendly feel-good thrift store featuring low-cost and hand-selected items.

In 1991, John and Mary Murphy felt a void in their hearts. They wanted to create an organization that would help low-income individuals and families both locally and globally. They soon embarked on a journey that would change their lives forever. They started what would become known as Harvest Time International. The name Harvest Time comes from the idea of sewing seeds and collecting harvest in the present moment. It took John, Mary, and their two daughters, Dorothy and Carmen, three years to travel from Virginia to Florida.

© Benevolence Photography

Harvest Time International began in their garage but quickly grew into mobile warehousing unit for local non-profit businesses. Donations began to increase and their dream of owning a physical warehouse came true!

They were not only able to build a 100,000 square foot facility in Sanford, but they eventually added additional facilities in Florida, Nevada, and Texas.

In 1998, they opened The Community Hope Center in Sanford. The center features a restricted program for low-income individuals and families that uses a voucher system to provide necessary food and supplies in addition to medical and dental care.

Harvest Time International refers to their voucher system as a “hand-up, not a hand-out” program. The idea behind the program is to assist low-income individuals and families before they fall into poverty. Recipients must “participate in their own solution” while receiving assistance from the program.

Harvest Time International also offers services such as temporary housing, job assistance, disaster relief, and a Worship Center that houses up to 250 guests. Harvest Time International and its 52 employees currently help 700+ families per day in 92 countries! Thanks to local and national donors, they are able to fill and ship 120-160 40-foot containers each year to countries in need.

© Benevolence Photography

Wait, so what does this have to do with the thrift store? We are happy you asked! It has been Mary’s lifelong dream to open a clothing store that gives back to the community. In 2011, Mary with the help of Dorothy and Carmen, opened her first store, Love’s Creation, inside the Seminole Towne Center.

After two years, she made a tough but necessary decision to close the store. However, she had bigger plans in motion! She soon opened Recycled Love, now known as Thrift by Harvest Time International, with the same stewardship mindset.

Dorothy, a singer-songwriter and musician, is the face of the thrift store. She will greet you with a smile and offer you a fresh cup of coffee and donuts provided by Sanford’s own, Donuts 2 Go!

Carmen, a Fashion Design graduate from The Institute of Design and Technology, works behind the scenes managing merchandising and social media. Mary and her daughters want the shopper’s experience to be one of me-time and relaxation.

© Benevolence Photography

New clothing with tags can range from $5.00 and up while used and children’s clothing can be purchased for as little as $0.25. The thrift store serves the purpose of fundraising and bringing awareness to the local community about Harvest Time International and its mission. Whether you shop or donate, 100% of the proceeds are used for Harvest Time International’s vision of expanding their programs and services.

The current store hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm & Saturdays from 9am to 12 pm!

Donations to Thrift by Harvest Time International can be dropped off at the Harvest Time International Warehouse located at 225 Harvest Time Drive, Sanford, Florida 32771 between the hours of 9:00 am and 6:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Be sure to stop in early to grab a Donut and coffee, and don’t forget to follow Harvest Thrift on Instagram to get a first look at what’s new!

For more information regarding Harvest Time International, please visit their website at

© Benevolence Photography

© Benevolence Photography

© Benevolence Photography

© Benevolence Photography

© Benevolence Photography

© Benevolence Photography

About The Author

Angela Zirkle

I’m an Ohio native, cat mom of two, and small business owner who’s adjusting to a life in Florida that’s full of good food, drinks, and adventure. You can find me around Sanford sipping on my favorite latte and shopping at my favorite thrift stores! Be sure to visit to stay in the meow with my latest thrift store finds!

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