29 years: Trinity Thrift Shop continues to make a difference in the community
SHEPHERDSTOWN – As one of the 32 volunteers at Trinity Thrift Shop, Margaret Coe, of Shepherdstown, considers her 13-some years of volunteering in the shop twice-a-month as a way to get involved with her church and community.
“I’ve been volunteering here, almost as long as my husband and I have been attending the church,” Coe said, mentioning she and her husband have attended the thrift shop’s landlord and supervising body, Trinity Episcopal Church, for 13 years. “It’s a fun job. You get to meet a lot of new people here – it’s truly a fun place to be.”
Although Trinity Thrift Shop is under the supervision of Trinity Episcopal Church, the donations to/proceeds from the shop do not benefit the church. Instead, the shop’s proceeds and unneeded items go to community organizations and local people in need.
“It’s part of our by-laws,” said 26-year volunteer Diane Cushing, of Shepherdstown. “I’ve had people ask me about it before, but none of the money goes to the church. We appreciate that we are able to give back to the community.”
According to 13-year volunteer Aileen Boyd, of Funkstown, Maryland, the shop was started by a core group of women from the church. Since then, the core group has changed and grown, including both church and community members.
“There’s a wonderful camaraderie between people there,” Boyd said. “It’s a wonderful support group of those who work together.
“We opened in 1990,” Boyd said. “A long time ago, the church had a bazaar in this house, where they sold handmade stuff. I think after a while people grew tired of that, and so we had the house that was there, which we could use for a thrift shop.”
In the 29 years the shop has been running, many of its volunteers have developed an appreciation for the role the shop has taken in their lives.
“I had retired, and I was kind of looking around for something to fill my time, and then I was invited to help sort through donations on Thursday,” Boyd said, mentioning she was formerly a teacher. “If you are a retired person, it is a very rewarding way to spend your time.”
For fellow sorter and 23-year volunteer Jenny Hollis, working with the group of eight sorters every Thursday morning is often an enjoyable experience, even though the group starts working before 8 a.m.
“I look forward to Thursday morning, I really do,” Hollis said, with a smile. “It helps keep me young.”