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New year, new you: Jumping ahead into spring cleaning

By Staff | Jan 25, 2019

Margaret Coe, of Shepherdstown, mans the register at Trinity Thrift Shop. Coe has volunteered with the shop for about 13 years. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN – Winter may be looming over the Eastern Panhandle right now, but spring will soon be upon us. And with that, comes the need to clean out our homes in preparation for the new year. But what can community members do with their spring cleaning items?

One solution may be to donate them to a local organization, such as Trinity Thrift Shop.

“It’s good for the environment and it’s helpful to people in the community,” said volunteer scheduling manager Aileen Boyd.

Proceeds from the shop do not benefit the shop’s landlord and supervising body, Trinity Episcopal Church. Instead, they are donated in $500 increments to local charity organizations, according to Boyd.

“We meet two to three times a year, to give away this money,” Boyd said, mentioning the monetary donations must be approved by the church before being acted upon. “The donations have to pass through the vestry, which is the governing body of the church. At this point, we’re giving away $12,000 a year.”

According to Boyd, the thrift shop tries to maintain a high standard for items on its shelves. However, the donations which don’t meet the shop’s standards are rarely put to waste.

The two main things the shop cannot accept are toys, furniture and technological items, such as televisions and computers, due to safety and storage reasons. An exception may be made for educational toys. But all of the shop’s other donations are put to use in the store, given to local residents in need or donated to First Baptist Church in downtown Martinsburg’s clothing closet.

“We try very hard not to throw things away,” Boyd said, mentioning the shop does have signs posted, explaining what types of donations the shop will accept.

Every Thursday morning, the volunteers sort through donations dropped off at the shop’s back porch throughout the week. The items which the store can use must be clean, and include clothing, jewelry, purses, books, movies, house wares and holiday items.

Those who donate to the shop should keep an itemized list, so they can ask for a tax receipt during business hours, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

And, according to Boyd, if you’re looking for some good conversation, don’t just drop off donations and leave.

“I truly believe that one of the services we provide, is someone to talk to in the community,” Boyd said, mentioning the shop’s volunteers are known for having a good listening ear. “Many people will come in just to talk.”