How to Shop Tax-Free Every Day

At Hillcrest Platte County, we’re all about making a positive impact on lives in our community.

One of the exciting ways we do this is through our three thrift shops: The Hillcrest Thrift Shop – Picture Hills, The Hillcrest Thrift Shop – Platte City, and The Hillcrest Clearance Outlet. These shops are more than just places to find hidden treasures; they’re hubs of change, hope, and support.

Ready for a shopping adventure that fulfills your retail cravings and puts money back into your wallet?

Every time you shop HPC thrift, you’re not just getting great deals – but you’re also enjoying tax-free shopping every single day. Yes, you heard that right – tax-free shopping every day, not just during tax-free weekend!

Why Tax-Free Shopping Matters

We all know that taxes can take a bite out of your shopping budget. But at the HPC Thrift Shops, you’ll get more bang for your buck. Those extra dollars you’d normally spend on taxes can now be reinvested into your shopping spree, or savings account, allowing you to snag even more fabulous finds. Perhaps you’ll even want to contribute extra support to our incredible initiatives.

Spread the Word and Make a Difference

Now, you might be thinking, “Why isn’t everyone talking about this?” or “How did I not know this?” and those are valid questions! The answer here lies in awareness. That’s where you come in!

By sharing this wonderful news with your friends, family, and fellow HPC supporters, you’re not just informing them about the incredible shopping deals; you’re also inviting them to be a part of something bigger – supporting a nonprofit that’s dedicated to giving a hand up to the working homeless.

The next time you step into an HPC Thrift Shop, you’re not just stepping into a store! You’re stepping into a world where every day is a tax-free shopping spree, and every purchase has the power to create ripples of change in the lives of those around you.

Happy shopping, happy saving, and most importantly, happy giving back!

How God used Hillcrest Platte County in a volunteer’s story of redemption.

At Hillcrest Platte County, most of us know Tanya Pulliam as a friend, Christ follower, volunteer, and register lead at Picture Hills Thrift.

For five years Tanya has faithfully served the ministry, fueled by her belief that everyone needs to feel heard, appreciated, and significant. A short, “Hi, how are you” can have a resounding impact on a person battling depression, isolation, and a plethora of negative emotions. Tanya has a genuine love for serving others and a reputation that reflects her heart posture in this. 

However, Tanya’s story doesn’t begin at the Thrift Shop, it doesn’t even begin the way that most stories start.

Tanya wasn’t born and raised in her biological parents’ home, there wasn’t a full-blooded brother she wrestled with or a full-blooded sister available to steal clothes from. Tanya was adopted by Karen Quested and her adoptive father at just three days old through the Lutheran Children’s Foundation. To Tanya, Karen Quested, who has been home with The Lord for six years now, was her everything. Karen was the woman who taught Tanya all that she knows about Christ and was truly her mom, in every way a woman could be. Alongside Karen, Tanya was raised by her stepfather Garry; her adoptive father was not in the picture. Reunited with Karen, Garry went home to be with The Lord two years ago. To Tayna, these incredible people were her true parents and the family she got to choose.

Tanya, throughout her life, found herself faced with many questions about her biological lineage.

She was thirty years old when she discovered and met her birth mother and birth brother in Kansas. As a shock, she learned that her birth mother had given up another baby girl for adoption a year prior to her. As a result, her birth mother suffered great depression that affected her brother Rod, who was not given up. Tanya was able to provide peace to her birth mother through this connection and for Rod, peace would mean meeting both of his sisters.

Rod began investigating for himself and learned that their sister was named Jenae and had been living in New Mexico. Rod reached out to Jenae who then expressed that she was not ready to meet either him or Tanya. When she was ready, Jenae said that she would reach out. Six months ago, after decades of waiting, she contacted Rod to meet. Tanya and Rod, with Rod’s wife, traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico to meet their sister. 

From Tanya’s perspective, Christ flooded the room when all three siblings were reunited, “I felt devoured in a beautiful way with God’s love, He was everywhere.”

In this beautiful and spiritual moment, Tanya felt what could only be expressed as the peace of their birth mother whose suffering was now over, her birth mother was finally free. Taking a step back, Tanya couldn’t help but recognize that Rod and Jenae resembled one another yet she herself resembled neither, nor did she resemble her birth mother.

Tanya wondered who she, her son, and her grandchildren looked like and decided she was ready to find her biological father.

Jan Long, who Tanya met while volunteering at Picture Hills and became one of Tanya’s best friends, helped her in this search. Tanya took a DNA test and Jan analyzed her ancestry; what she found was remarkable.

The rumor had been that Tanya’s birth father was put up for adoption and raised by a Jewish couple in Chicago. This claim was discredited. On the basis of knowing there was shared blood through her DNA results, Tanya connected with her grandfather’s daughter Yvonne. Through this, Tanya learned that her birth father was named Warren and while he had been adopted, it was by his aunt. Yvonne found that her father had been unfaithful to her mother and Warren, born of an affair, was raised as a cousin to Yvonne and her brother; in actuality, they were all half-siblings. 

In light of this information, Tanya wondered how Warren came to meet her birth mother, far from his home and in Kansas. It turned out that he had been stationed at an airforce base in Kansas while at the time, he was married with a child. He did not pursue a relationship with Tanya’s birth mother due to the nature of their encounter. Tanya was not able to recover a photo of her father, but she was able to recover a photo of her grandfather, who she does resemble.

Through this journey, Tanya discovered that she has two sisters on her birth father’s side.

Rather than contacting them, through much prayer and in doing what God is calling her to, she has chosen to let this story rest. Tanya hopes that her experiences encourage others to embody strength and perseverance through their individual battles. She has been able to recognize that with Christ her identity is not in her family lineage but in her relationship with Jesus. As an image bearer of Christ, He is the one she truly resembles. 

God, being so intentional, led Tanya to become a dedicated Hillcrest volunteer. Her friendship with Jan which was forged over their shared interest in fellowship and serving their community had a life-changing impact.

The Lord was faithful to use the Thrift Shop for His work and was faithful to pour out His spirit in Tanya’s life, Rod’s life, and Jenae’s life. All three children were raised under uniquely different circumstances yet still became devout believers. Christ offered each one rebirth into His Kingdom in this great story of healing and redemption.

From Tanya, “There are new beginnings in Christ. This is part of the journey, not the conclusion. It’s not time for a new chapter, it’s time for a new book where Christ gets to be the author.”

While Tanya could never have imagined everything she would discover, Ephesians 5:13 reminds us that “Everything exposed by the light becomes visible–and everything that is illuminated becomes a light”. Karen, her true mother would always say to her “Be the light, light always shines brightest in a dark room.” 

“Christ relentlessly pursued me. While I was searching for my birth father, I saw in a new way how Christ had been my Father all along.” -Tanya Pulliam

Pictured above: Tanya, Rod, and Janae.

Pictured above: Tanya’s birth father, 2nd man to the left.

Pictured above: Tanya’s birth mother and Tanya; first meeting.

From Struggle to Success and Stability

Rachelle’s Remarkable Journey

Imagine being a single mother of five, including newborn twins, grappling with the weight of substance abuse, and losing custody of three beloved children. This was Rachelle’s reality when she came to the HPC program. The challenges she faced were immense, but her determination to regain her life and provide a safe and stable environment for her children was stronger.

The Power of Support

In early 2022, Rachelle’s life began to take a positive turn when she became part of the housing program at HPC. The program provided her with the structure, guidance, and resources she needed to break free from harmful habits. While at HPC, she also went through the Clay County Drug Court. With the support of dedicated professionals and a community that believed in her, Rachelle embarked on a transformative journey of healing and growth.

Rising Above Challenges

Rachelle’s progress within the drug court program was nothing short of remarkable. She not only conquered her personal battles but also excelled to the point where she became a peer-orientator within the program. This role allowed her to use her own experiences to inspire and guide others who were on a similar path. Rachelle’s journey from a participant in the program to a role model for her peers showcased her determination to uplift those around her.

Workplace Success and Financial Stability

Rachelle’s journey of empowerment extended beyond the drug court program. She worked tirelessly and demonstrated exceptional dedication to her job, resulting in a well-deserved promotion to shift supervisor at her workplace.

Through diligent saving, she managed to purchase a minivan – a significant step towards ensuring the safety of her family. This achievement was a testament to Rachelle’s financial discipline and her unwavering commitment to providing the best for her children.

A Bright Future Ahead

Rachelle stands on the brink of a new chapter in her life. With her sights set on a place of her own, Rachelle is actively working toward reuniting with all of her children and creating a safe and nurturing home for them. Her dedication, resilience, and unwavering commitment to her family’s well-being showcase the transformative power of love and determination. Her story is an inspiration, urging us all to believe in the strength within ourselves and the potential for change, growth, and redemption.

A Journey of Transformation, Hope, and Renewed Relationships

Sometimes, all it takes is the right environment and support to turn lives around.

Joey and Justin’s story is a testament to the power of second chances, and the transformative impact of the HPC 90-day program and Next Steps to Success. From battling addiction to celebrating milestones like marriage, sobriety, and personal growth, their journey exemplifies the incredible potential for positive change.

The Path to Hillcrest

Joey and Justin found themselves at a crossroads. Their desire for a clean and sober living environment marked the first steps toward rebuilding their lives. Recognizing their need for a fresh start, they embraced the support and resources that Hillcrest offered, setting the stage for their journey of transformation.

Graduating to Success

As they progressed through the program, Joey and Justin’s commitment to bettering themselves shone brightly. Their dedication paid off, leading them to graduate and transition to the Next Steps to Success.

However, Joey and Justin’s journey didn’t stop at graduation – it was just the beginning. Both of them took the chance to secure better employment and Joey was promoted to a team lead position. Amidst their personal and professional successes, Joey and Justin celebrated a significant milestone – their first year of marriage. This achievement symbolized their commitment not only to each other but also to their journey of recovery.

A Journey of Sobriety

One of the most remarkable aspects of Joey and Justin’s journey is their unwavering commitment to sobriety. Over the course of 1 year and 8 months, they maintained a clean and sober lifestyle. Their triumph over addiction stands as a beacon of hope for those facing similar challenges.

The journey to recovery often involves more than just personal growth – it can also entail rebuilding relationships that may have been strained or broken due to addiction. Joey and Justin’s commitment to sobriety has allowed them to mend bridges with their parents and children.

A Future Filled with Promise

As Joey and Justin look ahead, they do so with hope. The obstacles they’ve overcome, the personal growth they’ve achieved, and the bonds they’ve mended have paved the way for a bright and promising future. Justin’s resolution of legal issues and his newfound ability to obtain a driver’s license are just a few examples of the fresh opportunities that lie ahead.

There’s no doubt that Joey and Justin’s future will be filled with even more accomplishments, milestones, and the promise of continued growth.

Don’t Believe Everything You Feel

I’m a house parent on property of a transitional living facility—Hillcrest Platte County (HPC). We have several young adults in our program ranging from the ages of seventeen through twenty-two. These young adults have found themselves at HPC for various reasons, but I’m glad that each one is here.

Recently, we did an activity that we’ve never done before. We transported them all in a van and took them to Barnes & Noble. There, we directed them to take an hour to search the books and select the one they wanted us to purchase for them. Normally, we would go to a library which is free but there is something unique about being able to get something new and call it your own; this can help create healthy habits.

We gave the young adults the guideline that the book had to teach them something and could not just be a piece of fiction or a comic book. Then, we set them loose in the store. The young adults wandered around, thumbed through pages, read, compared, and contrasted. Ultimately, they landed on their books.

When we arrived back at housing, we had the young adults explain why they chose the literature that they did. There were wonderful motivations behind each decision.

I truly wonder what will be the result of this activity in their lives, five to ten years down the road. While working with this population of young adults comes with its challenges, moments like these will always put a smile on my face as I watch them dream of what could be.

>About the Author
Theo Davis is a House Parent at Hillcrest Platte County.

Interning at Hillcrest Platte County

Are you interested in the opportunity to work within a community of people who truly care about you at a human level?

Nowadays, with college graduates placing a greater emphasis than previous generations on purpose-driven work and work-life balance—isn’t compassion and understanding in the workforce something that we’re all seeking? Let me be the first to tell you, that’s what you’ll find here at Hillcrest.

Here at Hillcrest Platte County, our goal is to encourage and inspire you as a young leader to transform the lives of our residents within our transitional housing program.

What are we seeking? An individual that has a heart for the ministry and can efficiently handle the functions of the daily tasks.

Let me introduce myself—

I interned during the summer of 2021, was offered opportunity advancements, and experienced something unique: my quality of life drastically improved. Now, I am writing to you as the serving Communications Coordinator of this incredible non-profit.Lou with The Thrift Stores

If you believe that God has a plan for your life and He is using these words to minister to your heart, I encourage you to apply. We would love to meet you.

For more information about our program, please visit our website. 

Interested in this internship and extended opportunities? Email Lou or fill out the application to schedule an interview.

About the Author
Samantha Piel is the Communications Coordinator at Hillcrest Platte County. Want to know more about her internship experience you can email her.

Finding Community through Trivia Night

Here at Hillcrest Platte County, we believe that community is essential for life.

Proverbs 27:17 reminds us, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” This truth resonated at our recent trivia night hosted by The Hillcrest Thrift Shop – Platte City, as we witnessed our volunteer and staff members pool together during this friendly competition.

Trivia Night Outcome

After a commendable journey that led them to secure the second position, “Team Staff” found themselves narrowly overtaken by the victorious squad, “The Linen Ladies and Jay.” Unfortunately, the final question proved to be a pivotal moment, causing “Team Staff” to lose their lead and ultimately conclude the competition near the bottom of the ranks. Despite this twist of fate, their efforts throughout the competition deserve recognition for their dedication and impressive progress.

Fun trivia pointers from David Seim (General Manager at Platte City)
1. The difference between Vermont and New Hampshire is a lot of points.
2. It is helpful to know high school photos of celebrities.
3. Donice Mahan (Executive Director of HPC) and Victoria Hewitt (Director of Housing) are the best team members to recruit for questions about Broadway Musicals.

Want to be part of the Hillcrest Platte County Community and join in on the fun? Visit our Want To Help page to learn more.

Remember, God never intended for us to do life alone. Therefore, let us rally together to see many lives transformed in Platte County, including our own.

We can’t wait to meet YOU!

From Supporter to Case Manager

“I truly believe that God knew long ago that this is where I should be.” -Lisa Guess

I have donated clothing and household goods to the HPC Hillcrest store for the 12 years I have lived in Platte City. I didn’t know much about the program during that time, but I always heard great things. I didn’t understand how meaningful and helpful this program is to people until I accepted and have just begun to learn my new job. I am so grateful for all of the people in our community who have held up and supported the needs of this program through the years. And I am so honored to be a part of it.

Role at HPC: Case Manager, Young Adult Housing, Platte City

In my new role, I will connect, orient, and mentor young adults through a safe transitional living environment at our north campus location in Platte City. This will involve weekly case management meetings, budget planning, life skills classes, and monitoring of the participants’ weekly goals and progress.

My first day of training was Tuesday, October 5th, 2021! I did lots of training and listening the first week. This week, I have already placed two students at our Platte City location with the one who was already moved in the week before. So, I now have three young adults at the Platte City location. And a fourth one is moving in next week!

Transitioning from Supporter to Case Manager

I truly believe that God knew long ago that this is where I should be, so I give him all the glory and praise for connecting me with this ministry. God used my friend, Karen Wagoner, to introduce me to the idea of being a case manager. After a few conversations with other employees, I felt confident it was the right job for me!

Lisa’s Background

I recently retired from 29 years of teaching. I served as a middle school library media specialist…17 years in the Pattonville School District in St. Louis and 12 years in the Smithville School District. I am married to my husband Paul and have two sons.

Did you know?

Since HPC began Young Adult Housing in 2017, countless young adults have transformed their lives by graduating from the program.

Here is how to help:

  1. Shop at our Hillcrest Thrift Shops.
  2. Donate items to our Hillcrest Thrift Shops.
  3. Donate your time and volunteer at the Hillcrest Thrift Shops.
  4. Make a monetary contribution.


What is a Meeple-A-Thon?

Meeple-A-Thon KC is a once-a-year, family-friendly, board game marathon—benefitting Hillcrest Platte County’s Young Adult Housing Program.

Meeple-A-Thon 2021 will feature tournament events such as Warhammer 40k, Freeblades, Magic: The Gathering, etc. In addition, there will be various interactive activities such as the “Paint and Take” table, an available gaming library to choose from, open play tables, local vendors to visit, and more.

Meeple-A-Thon will also host the “Game for Change” annual charity raffle.

Meeple-A-Thon is a 24 Hour Event on October 22, 6 p.m. – October 23, 6 p.m.

It benefits Hillcrest Platte County Young Adults and is Organized by David Seim

The Creation of Meeple-A-Thon. David’s Story.

About five years ago, Hillcrest Platte County was contacted by The Platte County R3 School District and was asked to meet a need for a student that had no place to stay. What HPC had found was an increased number of homeless 17–24-year-olds. Because of this, Hillcrest Platte County was going to start the remodeling process for turning some of the apartments into dormitories. Given my own past, I decided to create this little event called Meeple-A-Thon, where we would play board games for 24-hours and raise money to help with the remodeling process.

Previous Meeple-A-Thon Events

The first year, we had a couple of weeks to plan and made $700. The next year, we had all year to plan and made $5,000. In the third year, we got some volunteer help with the event and raised $12,900. Last year was COVID-19, we went virtual but still raised $5,000. This year, I am so excited about the full potential of what we are able to do.

Where does the passion come from?

Why do I have passion for this? When I was 17, I left the house I was living in. It wasn’t a healthy environment and I moved in with my sister for a bit; then I found myself moving around from place to place. I didn’t really have a set place to live so I can understand and relate with these kids who are aging out of foster care, or just kids that find themselves in a bad situation and homeless, looking for a way to get their lives on track. That is why I created this event and why I’m passionate about the young adult housing here at Hillcrest Platte County.

Why Board Games?

Board games in general—I like the people, I like playing with my friends. There are moments where of course it’s fun, but it’s also a great excuse to have a weekly night where you are with your friends or family. Phones are usually put away, so you’re dealing face to face with people around a table and you’re having conversations. You’re sharing food and stories about your week, instead of just reading about it in a text or on a Facebook post. You’re having face-to-face interaction with people and I like that. I like that.

David Seim





No ordinary thrift stores

Hang out long enough at any of our HPC-Thrift shops, and you will find that these are no ordinary thrift operations. Staff and volunteers meet together each week to ban together and make available to the public the seemingly endless influx of donations that come from local supporters daily. A real melting pot if you will, of young and old, wealthy and poor, weak and strong, educated and uneducated individuals, as diversified a group demographically, dynamically, and personality-wise, you’ll ever see in one place.

But what makes these stores even more unique are the connections you see happening as our “peeps” engage with one another, the shoppers, and even our HPC program participants. It is notOne of the thrift stores that Hillcrest offers the public uncommon to have managers coaching our young entry-level employees and community service workers after hours on life skills. Most every day, a widow is looked after or considered to care for if need be. Birthdays are recognized every month, flowers are sent to funerals of lost ones, food is given freely, and cool drinks of water are offered daily in Christ’s name.

God is alive and well at our  thrift stores

I’ve watched volunteers pool money together to help an employee. I have seen employees do the same for volunteers and observed outreach to volunteers, employees, and shoppers alike, troubled with health conditions, offering support and prayers. There is an awareness to look out for others and execution of that care, that when witnessed, leaves you with a deep sense that God is alive and well at our thrift shops.

Our thrift shops have become a beacon of generosity and care throughout Platte County. Community partners call on us regularly to help those they run across who need clothing or beds. Prayer warriors frequently lift prayers for our staff, volunteers, widows, family members, customers, and program participants. Yes, God is alive and well. His movement throughout HPC is obvious, evident, anticipated, and even expected! He has brought together people for His purpose, for not only helping those less fortunate but for reconciling His people back home to Him. Who would’ve thought He would use our thrift shops in such a manner.

No, these are no ordinary thrift stores.

by Lou Warner

Lou is the Director of Thrifts for all of the Hillcrest Thrift Stores.