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Celebrating a Decade of Dedication: Karmen Brown Announces Retirement from Many Hands

Updated: Jan 10

Above: The staff and volunteers that helped open Many Hands Market in 2013. Karmen is in the front row, fifth from the right.

Karmen Brown, the store manager at our Many Hands Thrift Market Spencer location, has announced her upcoming retirement.

For the past ten years, Karmen has played an integral role in our organization’s journey. Her unwavering faith and commitment to following Jesus have been a guiding light throughout her time with us. As manager of Many Hands Market in Spencer, Karmen has blessed our team and the community we serve.

Above: Karmen serving a customer on opening day in 2013.

Karmen was a key pillar and volunteer in opening the Many Hands Market in Spencer in 2013. Her efforts to help open the store and then later becoming the store manager when The Gabharts moved to Haiti were essential for laying a strong foundation for more Many Hands Thrift stores to open in the central Iowa area.

CEO Of Many Hands, Tim Brand, reflects on Kamen’s journey, “Karmen helped start Many Hands Market, first as a volunteer and then as a Store Manager. She has worked tirelessly to make it a beautiful shopping destination filled with the love of Jesus. Her heart of service is evident to all, and we are forever grateful for the love and care she has demonstrated for the shoppers, donors, staff, and volunteers. This store, and all the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives are better today because of it, would not be possible without Karmen and her leadership.”

Karmen has been and will continue to be a champion for the ministry of Many Hands. She is always looking for ways to serve those in her store and the local community. Over the years, Karmen has been to Haiti over twenty-five times and has led a trip to Many Hands’ newer location in Abaco, The Bahamas.

Above: Karmen with a family in Haiti

In reflecting on her remarkable tenure, Karmen shared these words:

“In our journey of following Jesus – our lives have a variety of chapters, each one being led by Him. In my life, I can honestly say the Lord has always prepared me for the next chapter. It has been an amazing journey – I have loved serving with my whole heart during these past ten years. The memories and friendships are priceless. The time has come, and the Lord is pressing on my heart; there is another chapter on the horizon, and it is time for me to pass the baton. I am at complete peace with this – while I have no idea what the next chapter holds – I know the Author, and I trust Him.”

These words beautifully encapsulate Karmen’s deep sense of purpose and surrender to God’s plan. Her dedication and wholehearted service have left an indelible impact on Many Hands and the lives she has touched.

Above: Karmen with a group of staff getting ready to give away gift cards.

While Karmen will be with us until Fall 2024, we understand that her retirement marks the beginning of a new chapter. Our hiring team will be searching for her successor, ensuring a smooth transition as we continue to uphold the mission and values of Many Hands.

As we bid farewell to Karmen, we look toward the future with optimism, knowing that the Lord is already preparing the heart of the individual who will follow in her footsteps. The impact of her leadership and devotion will resonate for years to come, and we are grateful for the foundation she has laid.

Above: Karmen watching a reflection video as the team celebrated the 10-year anniversary of Many Hands Market.

Steve Lucas, Many Hands District Manager, shares about Karmen, “Working with great people is a tremendous honor, and Karmen has proven that to me time and time again. Karmen is one of the most faith-driven people that I have ever worked with, and she has even helped me in my faith journey. What makes Karmen great is her love for people. Not just the ones who are good to her, not just the ones who love her, but the ones who have made her life challenging. I have learned so much from Karmen, especially in how she loves all people and truly leads like Jesus. Thank you, Karmen!”

Join us in celebrating Karmen’s incredible contributions and expressing our deepest gratitude for her unwavering commitment to Many Hands. May her retirement be filled with joy, peace, and new adventures. We are confident that she will continue to support and be involved with Many Hands in different ways, bringing her wisdom and experience to future endeavors. Thank you, Karmen, for your decade of dedicated service. Your impact will be felt long after your departure, and you will forever be a part of Many Hands.

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Karmen's retirement is well deserved n she has set the store on SOLID GROUND! We will miss you, Friend.💓

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