Thursday, May 10, 2012

More than a thrift store

Woman-ShoppingSmallWe live in expensive times.

As prices go up and up and up, even the normal discount stores are starting to feel a little pricey. For many basic household needs, savvy shoppers are turning more frequently to thrift shops.

People shop at thrift stores for any number of reasons. Some are trying to stretch their budgets; others hope to find overlooked antiques and collectibles, while college kids look for retro fashions, and retirees seek out memories of past days.

“Thrifting” is fun and it’s cheap—and it’s also a good deed, providing funds for various charities as well as keeping usable goods out of landfills and incinerators.

Some thrift stores are run for profit, and knowing who sponsors the store might provide insight into what you’ll find there—or incentive to patronize specific stores.

Contrary to popular belief, most thrift stores do not exist to provide cheap goods for the poor—they exist to raise money to support their organizations’ missions.

Senior Concerns’ Bargain Boutique and Thrift Shop is tucked away in the Community Conscience Under One Roof Human Services Center at 80 E. Hillcrest Drive in Thousand Oaks.

The shop is an amazing example of the mosaic of charitable services.

The shop has been in existence since 1988, its revenues providing critical operating funds for Senior Concerns’ Adult Day Center, which serves seniors who are frail, or have special needs or dementia.

The store is staffed almost exclusively by dedicated volunteers, some of whom have worked at the shop since it opened. The volunteers sort and display merchandise and offer great customer service.

The Bargain Boutique and Thrift Shop also provides free vouchers to many of the charities housed in the Under One Roof Human Services Center, allowing low-income and homeless individuals the ability to “purchase” clothing, towels and other necessities.

If you consider the “circle of care” occurring there, the Bargain Boutique and Thrift Shop offers a great representation of the benevolence of the human spirit.

Donors drop things off that they no longer use or need; volunteers donate their time and talents to run the shop; people in need are able to choose much-needed items, and seniors with special needs and their caregivers can receive services six days a week.

This one shop stands for many great things in our community.

On Tues., May 22, the Bargain Boutique and Thrift Shop will sponsor a Second Chance Fashion Show at Muvico in The Oaks mall, co-sponsored by Chico’s, Tom’s Shoes, Cantara Cellars and Muvico.

Guests will arrive at 11:30 a.m. to enjoy wine tasting sponsored by Cantara Cellars and a silent auction of jewelry, garden items, floral arrangements and accessories at Bogart’s restaurant in Muvico.

Lunch will be seated, family-style, offering chicken piccata, pasta, Caesar salad and dessert.

The fashion show will feature clothing from Chico’s and shoes by Tom’s, and each outfit will be paired with an item from Senior Concerns’ Bargain Boutique and Thrift Shop.

After collecting silent auction items, guests will grab a bag of popcorn and head for the theater to see a private showing of “The Devil Wears Prada.”

Advance reservations are required for the Second Chance Fashion Show. Call Dana at Senior Concerns, (805) 497-0189.

If you’ve done your spring cleaning and would like to donate to the shop, call (805) 373-0504 for more information. If you’d like to volunteer at the shop, call Stephanie Caffee at (805) 497- 0189.

Happy “thrifting,” and be sure to check out the fashion show.


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Andrea GallagherAndrea Gallagher

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