Harvest House celebrated the grand opening of their new location, aptly named Harvest House Too, at the city of Destin’s ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday afternoon.
The local non-profit outgrew their space at 300 Mountain Drive, and when the storefront at 114 Palmetto Street became available just one block away, Harvest House Executive Director Lori Joyner knew it was the sign they had been looking for.
“We’ve been at the 300 Mountain Drive location for about 20 years and we just kept outgrowing it,” Joyner said. “This place is a huge blessing. We’ve prayed for a second location for years now.”
Harvest House Too is filled with natural light, bright white walls, and newly-installed wood floors. The merchandise throughout the shop is carefully curated by the Harvest House staff to feature pieces from their “finer” collection of donations.
Think gently used Waterford crystal vases, stylish pillows, designer dresses, intricate furniture, top-of-the-line kitchenware, and wall art.
“Every single thing that’s in here was donated,” Joyner said.
All of the proceeds from Harvest House Too go directly to provide food, shelter, and clothing to the Destin community’s needy population.
In 2017 alone, Harvest House helped 4,690 people with food and clothing. They gave out 300 Shake’s Frozen Custard cards to the homeless, which ensures that each person gets one meal per day for 30 days, and provided Christmas gifts to 26 children throughout the community.
Joyner said that she experiences miracles every single day at Harvest House. When the staff decided to throw a tea party on the morning of the ribbon cutting last Tuesday, they were missing some key items— namely a tea set.
“As soon as we said we were going to do tea in the morning, the Lord sent us the most beautiful tea set with the most uniquely beautiful cups and saucers,” said Joyner.
Recently, a woman in need was driving over the Destin bridge from Okaloosa Island when she happened to get off U.S. Highway 98 and turn onto Marler Street. In a total coincidence, she saw the Harvest House sign before her and pulled into the parking lot to ask for help.
“We normally do our food distribution Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., so it was after hours and she asked if she could get some help,” explained Joyner.
The Harvest House staff gave her food and listened intently to her story.
Joyner noted that perhaps the most notable trend in Destin is that grandparents are becoming the primary care-givers of their grandchildren due to issues like substance abuse and death.
“They’re on fixed incomes and from what they’ve all told me, as you get older they don’t have the financial means to raise their grandchildren, so we’re able to help out a lot of them,” she said.
Joyner said that faith and prayer plays a huge role in the ministry.
“We’ve seen so many miracles. He just never ceases to amaze us," she said. "If we need something, we just speak it out, just like we needed the tea cups and just like we needed this new space.”
Joyner often tells customers to check back in the next few days if they don’t have an item in stock, because when people ask about it out loud, someone will usually donate the exact item to Harvest House a few days later.
“Without our community and our volunteers it would be hard to exist," Joyner said. "Everybody rallies around us, and we truly feel the love of Destin.”