Since it opened in 2004, Affordables by Bethany Life has had nearly $1 million in sales. As the tally gets closer and closer to that big number, the store is preparing to celebrate.

“Every time you spend $25 at Affordables between now and when we hit the $1 million mark, your name will be entered into our drawing for fabulous prizes,” said Lynne Melssen, donor relations coordinator for Bethany Life. “Shoppers get one entry for every $25 spent at Affordables. So if you spend $100, you get your name in the drawing four times.”

“We will be keeping a careful watch on each and every purchase made at Affordables over the next few weeks until we finally hit $1 million in sales,” said Larry Elphic, chief development officer for Bethany Life. “The tote board inside the store will be updated on a daily basis. We think our customers will get a kick out of seeing exactly when we reach the one-million-dollar mark.”

Located at 630 Pennsylvania Ave. in Story City, the store offers both new and donated merchandise. Donated items are welcome anytime the store is open; items should work, be clean and in good condition.

If you follow Affordables on Facebook, you can see photos of some of the items in stock each week, and Melssen goes live with a video each Monday morning, detailing some of the products or features of the store.

“It's a fabulous store and it fits a need in Story City,” Melssen said. Whether it's a new chair, vintage glassware or a composter, “come here first to shop instead of driving to Ames. We have a huge selection of items and just might have what you are looking for.”

Affordables has everything from colorful patio umbrellas to fashionable jewelry to Easter decorations. There's a room devoted to Christmas decorations, including several “ugly” holiday sweaters. There's a room full of books and puzzles.

“When children come in shopping with adults, we always offer the child a free book before they leave,” Melssen said.

Affordables depends on the hard work and dedication of its many volunteers, who operate the store.

“Our volunteers are pleased and proud that we have reached nearly $1 million in sales,” said Denice Reisetter, Affordables' store manager. “The day we hit that goal will be really exciting. Our store is staffed only by volunteers and we hope that announcing Million Dollar Madness will inspire some people in the community to come in and donate some of their time. Be a part of the excitement!”

Affordables has sold countless items since it opened, and it has also contributed to the betterment of the Bethany community. “Revenue from the store supports the residents and staff of our local nursing home, the Households of Bethany,” Melssen said.

The store's revenues have helped fund a variety of things — from purchasing a handicapped-accessible bus to donating $100,000 to the Building Tomorrow campaign, which helped fund the renovations at the Households of Bethany.

“Bethany Life would like to thank everyone who shops and volunteers at Affordables, which makes our mission possible,” Melssen said, “to help elders thrive in their life journey, living in a Christian environment of hope and compassion.”