(Originally published 9/24/2008)
Where can someone donate their used clothing or housewares and at the same time help cancer research while making some extra cash?
Since 1970, the Reynoldsburg Thrift Shop at 7125 E. Main St., has been raising money for cancer research through its consignment operation while also providing its many volunteers a way to give back.
"Their may be relays and 5K runs and other events each year that raise money for cancer research, but our shop is a place people can participate in the fight against cancer all year long," said thrift shop membership chairperson Doris Haag.
"All year long, here is a place people can donate their things to and they can make some money also. We're blessed with the people who come in and consign and donate things," Haag said.
She said proceeds from the sales at the shop are donated to the Columbus Cancer Clinic. Last year, the shop donated $10,000 to the clinic.
The Reynoldsburg Thrift Shop is staffed year-round by 55 volunteer women, ranging in age from 40 to 90 years old, who take in consignments, manage the store and make payouts to consignees.
"The running of this thrift shop is fantastic. Everybody has their own little job to do and they do it," Haag said.
She said each volunteer pays $5 per year to volunteer at the shop. That money is used to pay for incidental items such as soap and paper towels.
She said about 10 volunteers are cancer survivors and around 95 percent of them have been touched by cancer in their lives in some way.
"I started working there because my husband and 95-year-old mother died of cancer and I just felt there was some way I could give back," Haag said.
Sue Turner, of Reynoldsburg, a volunteer at the shop for some 20 years, said there are a number of benefits to volunteering there.
"Besides giving back to the community, there's the camaraderie within the shop," she said. "You get to make new friends. And then there are the customers --some we get to know well."
Haag, a resident of Pataskala, said Thrift Shop volunteers come from all over the area, including Reynoldsburg, Pickerington and Columbus.
The shop mainly sells men's and women's used clothing but also carries a variety of other things ranging from small furniture and household items to electric shavers and old typewriters.
"We've got clothing, small appliances, all kinds of bric-a-brac," Haag said.
"People who consign their clothing or items they bring in receive 60 percent of the sale and the shop takes the remaining 40 percent," she said.
The average price of anything in the shop ranges from $3 to $8, although Haag said some new items could cost $10 to $15.
"Besides making donations each year to the cancer clinic, there are so many regular people that depend on bringing stuff in on consignment and it helps them," Haag said. "In today's society, it is nice to know there is still somewhere to truly donate where administrative fees don't eat up your donation."
The Reynoldsburg Thrift Shop is open from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Consignments are accepted on those days from noon to 2:30 p.m.