The Co-op is available to students enrolled in classes leading to ordination in the holy ministry or certification as a deaconess. Food, clothing, and household items are available at no financial cost to the students. Students register and volunteer time for the privilege of use. All monetary gifts given to the Co-op for food items are restricted to the purchase of grocery items on the shelves of the Food Co-op. If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact Deaconess Katherine Rittner, Director of the Food and Clothing Co-op, at (260) 452-2168.
The Food Co-op is staffed and open from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Clothing Co-op is open for donation receiving Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00 am to 2:00 pm only. All items must be bagged or boxed. For safety reasons, the bins are placed on the curb during donation reception time and receipts are in the sleeve on the end. Please leave the bin at the chain and we will retrieve it after you leave.
There are two facilities on the campus housing the Co-op.
The Food Co-op is located in the lower level of the Student Commons. It is set up with shelves, freezers, and coolers to hold perishable and non-perishable items. Paper products, cleaning supplies, and diapers may also be available. The Food Co-op follows the guidelines of the Allen County, Indiana Board of Health as required for our permit to operate. This guarantees the proper storage and display of the food items. Many students report that 75-85% of their grocery needs are met at this facility. In exchange for monthly volunteer time, students may shop one day per week.
The Clothing Co-op is located in Spiegel Hall, which is a former dormitory building on the north side of the campus. Men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing plus household items, including furniture and appliances, can be available. Students shop at their own discretion for their family needs. No money or vouchers of any kind are needed. Students may shop six days per week in this facility.
- Over the Counter medications are available.
- School supplies as available in August each year.
- Layettes of new baby items are given to each family that has an infant born to them.
- Donated gift cards are distributed at Christmas to students.
- A handmade quilt, given by quilting groups from around the Synod at Christmas.
The Co-op relies solely on the generous donations of individuals, congregations, and organizations. Most students live on a very limited income while preparing to serve the Church. These facilities are truly a blessing to the students and their family members.
Clothing Co-op Needs
The Clothing Co-op accepts gently used and new (with the tag) items of clothing, housewares, microwaves, small kitchen appliances, dishes, knick-knacks, furniture, and other items. We strive to meet the needs of our students and their families during their time at CTSFW at no cost to them. When donating clothing, keep this rule of thumb in mind: If it is something you would want to see on your pastor and his family, bring it to us. We are unable to accept TV’s, computer towers, laptops, or tablets.
As a gift to our students who welcome a new baby, the Clothing Co-op gifts a layette box with new items, size Newborn to 4T. Onesies, socks, bottles, baby books, rattles, toys, stuffed animals, snow suits, holiday outfits, hair bows, shorts, shirts, pants, dresses, etc. In addition, each baby receives a handmade quilt and at times hand crocheted blankets, sweaters, hats, booties, or car seat covers.
Food Co-op Donation Ideas
The needs of the Food Co-op changes from week-to-week. Below is a non-inclusive list of needs and ideas for our shelves:
Sloppy Joe Sauce
Macaroni & Cheese
Liquid Laundry Detergent
(Regular/Free & Clear)
(Regular/Free & Clear)
Non-stick Cooking Spray
Seasoning (Garlic, Italian, etc)
Powder Cleaner (Comet)
Liquid Dish Soap
Canned Pasta Meals
Snack Sized Snacks
Snack size Chips
Tear Free Shampoo
Tear Free Baby Bath
Ointment (A&D, Desitin)