Celebrating 30 years with $40K

By Jessica Overstreet
Staff Writer
Posted 7/19/07

DAPHNE — St. Paul’s Thrift Shop celebrated its 30th anniversary Saturday by donating $40,000 to area nonprofit organizations at a luncheon honoring its volunteers.

Eleven organizations received donations from the thrift shop, including the …

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Celebrating 30 years with $40K

Posted

DAPHNE — St. Paul’s Thrift Shop celebrated its 30th anniversary Saturday by donating $40,000 to area nonprofit organizations at a luncheon honoring its volunteers.

Eleven organizations received donations from the thrift shop, including the following:

•Baldwin County Boys Ranch

•Care House

•Daphne Volunteer Fire Department

•Mary’s Shelter

•Ruthie Escabar

•The Haven

•The Lighthouse

•The Shoulder

•Wilmer Hall

•William F. Green State Veterans Home

•St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

“The thrift shop is a treasure worth the sacrifice that many of you put out day to day,” the Rev. Walt Howard, of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, said at the luncheon.

“You are the face of St. Paul’s on the community,” Howard said of those honored.

The shop has about 80 volunteers and two paid managers, according to Elaine Glover, chairman of the shop board.

“Everything we make here is donated back to the community,”

Linda Monley, a co-manager of the shop, said.

The thrift shop has everything from clothes and housewares to linens and shoes, according to Robbin Fowler, another co-manager.

“The more we make, the more we can help,” Fowler said.

“We are very blessed with donations; people all over the Eastern Shore donate goods to us,” Monley said. “After the weekend and the yard sales, our parking lot is just covered with stuff out there.”

The shop receives donations from businesses like consignment stores and dry cleaners, according to Monley.

“We go through every bag and box, inspect everything thoroughly; we make sure all the appliances work,” Fowler said.

However, it’s not just about selling everything in the store.

“Our primary goal is to serve the community, meet the needs of those in need and then give back,” Monley said.

“We have a warehouse that is absolutely full of shoes, blankets, clothing and things we might need if a hurricane hits,” Monley said.

For three weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005, the shop closed so they could box up supplies and send 18-wheelers to Mississippi and Louisiana, according to Monley.

“We had people knocking on the door in the same clothes they had on when they crossed the bridge; they stopped here and of course we outfitted them and did everything we could to help them,” she said.

“I think that’s when all of Eastern Shore really became of aware of who we are and what we do; and our donations increased substantially since then,” Monley said.

“One remarkable thing about that, is after it settled down, we had people we helped remember us and come back and make donations,” Glover said.

St. Paul’s Thrift Shop honors vouchers and takes care of families whose homes have burned; cancer patients; those coming out of shelters; and other causes, according to Glover.

The shop donates boxes of goods to organizations where they can be of use, Monley said.

“We send things like towels and linens to the animal shelter and The Haven (an animal asylum in Fairhope); we send boxes of goods to Habitat for Humanity,” Fowler said.

Items that might be of use to the residents of the William F. Green State Veterans Home are set aside for them, according to Fowler.

There is a covered drop-off location at the back of the building and people bring things every day of the week, according to Monley.

In 2006, sales were reportedly more than $665,000.

During May, sales were more than $12,000, according to Janice Miles.

The thrift shop has given more than $230,000 in outreach to the community since it began in 1977.

St. Paul’s Thrift Shop is located at 28788 N. Main St. in Daphne.