People flock to the basement of Rye Presbyterian Church every Thursday from 10 to 1.
By Robin Jovanovich
People flock to the basement of Rye Presbyterian Church every Thursday from 10 to 1. While some may be seeking salvation, it is certain that all are there in search of gently-used and well-priced toys, lamps, artwork, vintage glassware and china, linens, household items, or just a special treasure for a special someone.
The Rye Presbyterian Church Thrift Shop is staffed by 25 to 30 volunteers, from their 30s to their 90s. Among the shoppers? Donors who spot something on their way out; moms and babysitters picking up their children and charges at nursery school. Many of the shoppers are regulars, who are apprised of new arrivals in a weekly e-mail blast from volunteer Cindy Kuster.
Kuster, who has worked in the shop for eight years, said that the shop is all about community-building. “Shoppers get to know one another and the volunteers. Several shoppers have become volunteers.” She added, “This is a good thing for our church and our community. Seniors can do work that is valued in a way that works for them. People who really need housewares and everyday basics will find them here.” One of the regulars is a physical therapist.
Area non-profits also benefit in a big way. Proceeds from shop sales, which last year totaled $47,000, are disbursed to a variety of worthy organizations at a grant luncheon every spring. Last year, the church contributed an additional $3,000, so that the shop could hand out $50,000 in grants. It’s an enormously gratifying experience to attend the luncheon and see the appreciation of the staff and the beneficiaries from those non-profit organizations.
And did we mention that working and browsing at the Thrift Shop is fun? On a recent visit, we bought two bulletin boards for the office for $7. The best part was chatting with longtime volunteers Michele Gothberg, Nancy Bassett, Joan Gansfuss, and Milly Cordtz. Joan and Milly have their own designated J&M design room.
On Saturday, April 27 from 9 to 1, the RPC Thrift Shop is holding a giant tag sale.
Bring the things you no longer need and want to donate before then. They can be left in the hallway, near the Westminster Room. Make sure to stop by on the 27th to shop for a wonderful cause.