Beaverton resale boutique helps vets in need

Tanya Hawkins' GHM Boutique works with the VA to help vets who need help

Tanya Hawkins of the GHM Boutique in Beaverton, November 10, 2017 (KOIN)
Tanya Hawkins of the GHM Boutique in Beaverton, November 10, 2017 (KOIN)

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — When one door closes, another sometimes opens. So it is for Tanya Hawkins, the founder of Gung Ho Ministries and the GHM Boutique.

For years she worked in property management and as an escrow officer. But in 2008, “the market crashed and I lost my job.”

GHM Boutique — Facebook
Gung Ho Ministries — website

Not long after that, she felt a calling. She and a friend started bringing sandwiches to the homeless in downtown Portland. To fund that mission, Tanya held garage sales, selling donated items from family and friends.

Though she always thought she’d get back in to property management, she found the outreach she’d done downtown tugged at her heart.

“I really knew that’s where I needed to serve,” she said. She told her husband they needed a store, and within a month in 2011 they signed a lease on their first spot in Southwest Portland.

“From there, we just grew.”

“Being able to help people, it’s like I’m glad God put that on my heart to help people in need,” she told KOIN 6 News.

“Then the VA, the Veterans Administration, got my name,” she said. That’s when she began making veterans a priority with proceeds from the resale shop.

‘Wherever there’s a need if we’ve got the money to do it, and so far — year-to-date — after 6 years we’ve done 145,000 (veterans and needy) in outreach,” Tanya said.

Part of their mission is to help veterans who are having issues with housing.

She helps them with their rent, “their mortgage, utilities, helping them keep their lights on,” she told KOIN 6 News.

Then she had her own rent crisis. This fall, the boutique space she was leasing was no longer available. But it led to a better space.

GHM Boutique celebrated their grand re-opening Friday in a historic 1880 Beaverton home near Main Avenue and 3rd Street. And they couldn’t be more excited to be here.

“People bring their donations, we curate everything. We keep the best of the best for the shop because it is our fundraiser,” she said. “I just tell people when they donate, ‘Bring your donations here and then we will find a home for it. So this is like a redistribution center.”

Everything is donated — women’s and men’s clothing and accessories — and GHM Boutique is an official non-profit, she said. “We’re little, we’re local, we have one location and we keep everything local.”

There are some designer items in the boutique and some vintage clothing. Tanya said she wants GHM Boutique to “feel high-end but at thrifity prices. And if people donate, they get 20% off of their purchase.”

What they can’t sell they donate to other charities. The rest at the boutique raises money to help veterans and others in need.

“It’s been pretty cool. It’s been pretty cool,” Tanya Hawkins said. “This has been the most rewarding experience of my life.”