Two women volunteering with MCC Thrift, working with embroidery hoops. Two women volunteering with MCC Thrift, working with embroidery hoops.

An unexpected customer

Story by Luke Madden

September 28, 2023

Everyone is welcome at our thrift shops, but The Depot MCC Thrift Shop in Goshen, Ind., might not invite one customer back in particular.

It was a quiet Thursday morning at the shop as the team was preparing to open their doors when they saw a flash of red scurry across the shop floor. This flash was a red squirrel who must have heard of the great deals the shop had to offer and wanted to check them out.

Lazare Cardell, one of The Depot’s warehouse workers, was told about the squirrel by a co-worker. Remembering his uncle’s story about a chipmunk that went up the leg of his pants, Lazare tucked his pant legs into his socks, grabbed a broom and got to work on tracking down the squirrel.

A man holding a trapped squirrel inside an MCC Thrift shop.
Jared Drake, of Drake's Wildlife Services, holding up the safely caught squirrel in The Depot MCC Thrift Shop in Goshen, Ind. MCC photo/Cami Reeves Miller

For the next 10 minutes, Lazare and the team chased the squirrel around the shop. But every time they got close, the squirrel would run behind one of the bookshelves (rumour has it, the squirrel was looking for a cookbook with nut-based recipes).

After giving it their best effort, Lazare and the team knew they needed a professional.

Step in Jared Drake, of Drake’s Wildlife Services, to save the day, son-in-law of Cami Reeves Miller, assistant store manager. According to Lazare, Jared safely trapped and caught the squirrel within ten seconds!

To top off the eventful morning, let’s just say that the squirrel “dropped a parting gift” onto the shop floor as a memento of the day as they took the above photo.

After all of that excitement, the squirrel was safely released back into the wild, Lazare returned his pant legs to their untucked position and the team are proud to say that they have been squirrel-free ever since!

A sign that says, "The Depot: Squirrel free since 2023."
A sign in the warehouse of The Depot MCC Thrift Shop in Goshen, Ind. MCC photo/Lazare Cardell