Gift of Thrift
PERPETUATING FASHION AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
Tucked away on Catoonah Street, Ridgefield’s Thrift Shop has sold donated treasures for 75 years. Originally created to support the Visiting Nurse Association, the store was not considered an independent non-profit until 1946. The Thrift Shop has been at its current location, the initial St. Mary’s Parish, since 1960, housing merchandise from designer clothing to small furniture items.
Presently, the Thrift Shop benefits dozens of local organizations by dividing up the profits made each year. With annual sale events such as November’s Dress & Jewelry Sale and the Holiday Sale, the Thrift Shop is able to not only able to support local institutions but also to grant one Ridgefield High School graduate per year a $12,000 scholarship.
Current president Gen Fagan has organized over 45 active helpers, allowing The Thrift Shop to run completely on a volunteer basis. With donations arriving Monday through Saturday, each volunteer is greatly needed, as categorizing the piles of contributions is no menial task. “It is truly amazing how small purchases add up to big profits,” says current vice president Carol Gardell. “Additionally, our customers know that all our proceeds go back to our community.” Donating up to $150,000 annually to Ridgefield charities, The Thrift Shop consistently provides for the local community, an incentive for locals to support the organization.
The Thrift Shop carries seasonal men and women’s clothing, shoes, housewares, jewelry, and trinkets neatly organized by room on the main floor. In the attic one can find eccentric costumes, tuxedos, and wedding gowns. With the Thrift Shop’s undeniable variety, the selection not only appeals to their dozens of regular customers bargain hunting, but to all ages searching for just about anything.