JONESVILLE — Hundreds of boxes line the walls of the Orphan Grain Train warehouse, stacked to the ceiling in a scene of organized chaos and filled to the brim with clothes, shoes, furniture, appliances and other household goods.

But the situation in the warehouse was very different last July, when the nonprofit Lutheran organization first transitioned into its new Jonesville location.

At that time, there were 78 cases of unsorted clothing alone that needed to be organized and boxed for delivery, a process that warehouse manager Gene Ernst, a retired minister, predicted would take a full year to catch up on.

Now that the nonprofit is approaching that one-year mark, Ernst said his prediction has come true. The clothing has finally been sorted and organized, along with the hundreds of other donations that have come through the doors of the 12,000-square-foot facility in the last 12 months.

Although Orphan Grain Train is averaging 25 to 30 new clients each month, moving to the new building has enabled the organization to streamline its processes and more effectively serve its customers, Ernst said.

“(The building) is a tremendous blessing,” he said.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5712.