National Thrift Shop Day is being observed Aug. 17, calling attention to the value of these stores.
Be Local means shopping at area thrift stores to find hidden treasures and bargains as well as donating items since many shops support the work of charities that do good works in their communities.
Rita Smith, executive director, Connellsville Area Community Ministries, stated, “The Care and Share Boutique is a versatile asset to both Community Ministries and to the greater community. The boutique brings in one-third of our budget, offers low-cost quality items, and free items to community members in need. The ministry is grateful to our community for being so generous with giving donations and to our volunteers and staff for putting in so much work to make it all possible.”
“St. Vincent De Paul’s mission is to provide help and hope to those in need so everything we do, all sales we make, all donations we receive go to that mission,’’ said Maria Fetock, director, St. Vincent De Paul Society, Uniontown, naming utility assistance, food, clothing, furniture and more.
“Many shoppers and donors are unaware of exactly what they’re helping fund by donating or shopping at their local Goodwill store. Ninety cents out of every dollar Goodwill makes by selling donated items goes directly into programs and services Goodwill offers to the local community,’’ noted David Tobiczyk, vice president, marketing and development, Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania, listing GED and English as a second language classes, supportive housing, reintegration services and at-risk youth programs.
“These services all have one common goal: to help strengthen the community by helping people improve their life through the power of work. Many people in the community face challenges with barriers to employment such as, homelessness, a disability or lack of education. Goodwill strives to help these people with a hand up, by providing the free services they need to help them gain employment,’’ continued Tobiczyk, reporting Goodwill in 2018 had a $114,300,000 economic impact in southwestern Pennsylvania and served 10,739 adults and youths.
Ava Henderson, director of marketing and public relations, Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania, commented, “Our 11 Family Stores across Western Pennsylvania offer shoppers the opportunity to purchase brand name clothing, furniture, household goods, sporting equipment, books, electronics and much more at bargain prices.’’
Henderson noted, “When you donate goods to The Salvation Army, those goods are then sold through our Salvation Army Family Stores. Proceeds from those purchases are used to fund our Adult Rehabilitation Centers, which provided 43,738 nights of lodging and 144,146 meals for clients in Western Pennsylvania in 2018.’’
She stated, “Whether through financial difficulties or disaster, the Salvation Army Worship and Service Centers routinely provide clients with vouchers to ‘shop’ for items at Family Stores, free of charge. Whether furniture, clothing or household items, this process allows families and individuals to select exactly the items that they need.’’
These are a few of the many different thrift stores across the area. All provide opportunities to support and enjoy the benefits they offer.
Those interested in joining the Be Local Network can call 724-425-7515 or email Sharon Wallach at firstname.lastname@example.org. Discount cards are available at the Herald-Standard, 8 E. Church St., Uniontown, and at the Greene County Messenger, 32 Church St., Waynesburg.