Get to Know The Guild Shop

by Andrea Meier

Sixty-one years ago, several parishioners of St. John the Divine opened a resale shop as a community ministry. The original mission, which has remained strong throughout the years, was “To enrich the community as a Christian ministry and resale shop, dedicated to awarding financial support to organizations that serve the elderly.”

Today, The Guild Shop remains a ministry of St. John the Divine, and their resale model has opened many opportunities across the greater Houston area. Almost 200 active volunteers, an Executive Team, and staff from all faiths, beliefs, communities, and churches continue to serve this mission. The Guild Shop’s reach has allowed them to align with SJD’s commitment to being a Light for the City. They do this inside the shop by helping those who seek friendship, purpose, and mission, and by providing opportunities to the organizations we have selected to serve this year to help the elderly in need.

We invite you to learn more about The Guild Shop and its ministry to Houston and beyond through the stories of three dedicated volunteers.

Paige Griffin

How long have you been a volunteer at The Guild Shop and what area do you volunteer in?

I have volunteered at The Guild Shop (TGS) for five years as a cashier, in jewelry sales, and pricing consignments/donations. Girl Friday, I guess! I was the clothing chairman in 2020, shop chairman in 2021, and then donations chairman in 2022, but I have been a shopper since I moved to Houston in 1989.

Tell us about a meaningful moment or memory from your time there that stands out.

Volunteering at The Guild Shop is like joining a team. The model wouldn’t work without a multitude of volunteers with their vast knowledge and skills. During the pandemic, when TGS shut down briefly, staff and department heads were allowed to go into the shop to price clothing, jewelry, and household merchandise. During that time, we ramped up our online sales and sold over the phone for curbside pickup. We were determined to keep working so that we could earn enough to make our allocation commitments — which we did! It was such a blessing for me to have a safe place to go volunteer and be useful during such an uncertain time.

Karina Patman

What is the most important thing someone at St. John the Divine should know about The Guild Shop?

I love that a percentage of every sale at TGS goes to charities that support Houston’s elderly in need. So, by volunteering at TGS, you are helping fund charities like the Houston Food Bank, The Star of Hope, CanCare, Baker Ripley, The Beacon, and many more. Also, we start each morning with a prayer, which is a great way to start your day!

How long have you been a volunteer at The Guild Shop and what area do you volunteer in?

Like many volunteers at The Guild Shop, I started out as a very good customer. As many customers experience, The Guild Shop was a happy place where I could spend some time and wander through the store without an agenda, hoping to find a treasure. Once my kids were in high school, I was able to start volunteering for one shift a week on Thursday mornings. This grew into being Day Chair, and now I also volunteer with social media and post on the Shop’s Instagram and Facebook accounts. It is an outlet for my creative side that allows me to take photos of what inspires me and what I think customers are interested in.

Last December, I was nominated to become the Shop Chair-Elect, involved with special projects and a seat on our Guild Shop Board. Both have been great opportunities for me to learn about the Shop, use my marketing background, and get more involved. I have an active role in our allocations/philanthropy, leading a team of seven amazing people who help decide which non-profit organizations the Shop supports financially.

Tell us about a meaningful moment or memory from your time there that stands out.

I like when customers come in, share part of their story, and then ask your name at the end of the conversation. It allows both of us to know that next time they come into the shop, they have a face to look for and a name that they can associate with a good experience.

A beautiful woman visited The Guild Shop when she came to Houston for cancer treatments. She had received good news that day and her friends wanted to take her out on the town to celebrate, but she had nothing to wear. We found her a head-to-toe outfit and off she went, looking fantastic! She came back six weeks later from another treatment in the medical center, but this time the news wasn’t so good. She told me that she came to The Guild Shop because on her last visit, she had so much fun and needed a bit of respite before heading back to San Antonio to be with her family.

For the next few months, she came every six weeks during my Thursday shift, and we would visit and swap stories. Like a Facebook friend, she became a Guild Shop friend. While I haven’t seen in in over a year, I always hope that she will walk in the door, but she hasn’t come back. I pray for her often and hope that I will see her in the Shop again.

What is the most important thing someone at St. John the Divine should know about The Guild Shop?

At sixty-one years old, The Guild Shop is both a ministry of St. John the Divine and a unique community that reaches beyond both our zip codes. Over 200 volunteers and staff of different faiths come from as far as Kingwood, Baytown, and Katy and the Shop does incredible business selling everything from Gucci to garage sale items from over nine hundred consignors, various estates, and generous donors.

An important outreach of The Guild Shop community are our sixteen partnering organizations that help the elderly in four key areas: food security, health and wellness, shelter, and aging in place. The Guild Shop no longer simply gives grants, but is also focused on partnering with these valuable organizations so we can truly be a voice for the elderly in need. The Guild Shop’s seams are bursting not only in the capacity to hold all the items in our shop, but also in the opportunities to be a light in the city alongside St. John the Divine.

Russel Treat

How long have you been a volunteer at The Guild Shop and what area do you volunteer in?

I have volunteered just over four years, and I serve as President of the Board of Directors for the shop.

Tell us about a meaningful moment or memory from your time there that stands out.

There are so many it is hard to select just one. Any time the shop has a pop-up or other event, it is great to meet with shoppers, influencers, and all those who appreciate the beautiful items you can find. As I am writing this, I just got back from the Christmas Pop-Up. I was overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of the Christmas items, and the volunteers helped me to get into the Christmas spirit early this year.

The best memories have come from meeting with the organizations that benefi t from our giving. It is so awesome to hear about the impact The Guild Shop has by providing financial support to ministries that benefit the elderly in Houston.

What is the most important thing someone at St. John the Divine should know about The Guild Shop?

The Guild Shop is so much more than a resale store. It is a community. People come by daily to look for bargains, volunteer, or just visit. And some of our shoppers, volunteers, and consignors have been coming to The Guild Shop regularly for decades. Ultimately, it is the people and their willingness to serve others that make The Guild Shop such a special place.

For more information or to volunteer for The Guild Shop, visit and be sure to follow them on Instagram at

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