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CommuniCare Club’s Pop-Up Thrift Store Fundraises for Local Addiction Rehabilitation

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  • According to Director of Faith Programs and Campus Ministry Ms. Sarah Maher, the CommuniCare Club has been collecting “bags and bags” of clothes for approximately the last month, with remaining items still waiting to be arranged in the thrift store.

  • The pop-up thrift store was inspired by the CommuniCare Club’s mission statement, which commits to “granting money to organizations that provide services to people facing addictions” in order to gain understanding and bring humanization to such a “misunderstood” topic.

  • Sophomore Gabrielle Jones, shown here on the right, said she chose to visit the thrift store because her friends recommended it and the “good” selection of clothes available.

  • Clothing items — such as the $4 shoes and hats shown here — were donated by students for about a month before the thrift store opened, and preparation for its opening this week included sorting, hanging, organizing, and folding them.

  • Ms. Maher, the staff adviser for the CommuniCare Club, said that it would be difficult to quantify the amount of clothing donated, expressing that she “wouldn’t even be able to know — [it’s] tons and tons.”

  • “I was really intrigued by how much stuff there was,” Jones said, referencing the variety of clothing available and its quality. “It all looked like it had been taken care of.”

  • Ms. Maher said that they will begin interviewing nonprofits over the next two to three weeks, ultimately selecting one based on criteria (such as how well it fits their mission statement) by the end of March.

  • Clothes donated by students were hung on metal racks, a system of display that Jones said contributed well to the overall “impressive” presentation.

  • “One-hundred percent of the profits will go towards these nonprofits to help folks with addiction issues,” Ms. Maher said, with the prices of the majority of the pop-up thrift store’s clothes ranging from $3 to $5.

  • “I think a lot of people participated,” Jones said. “And so therefore a lot more people would participate next time.”

  • The thrift store will run though the end of this week, though Ms. Maher said they “will try to keep it open until we have to close, [if] people want to keep shopping.”

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Neon yellow Nike running shoes. A dark blue and white plaid button-up shirt. Checkered brown Vans. A gray cable knit sweater, overall jean dress, and a simple white t-shirt piled in the arms of students who browse donated clothes, folded on tables and hanging on clothing racks, labeled “$5 rack,” “$4 jeans,” and “$3 kids shirts.” 

This pop-up thrift store, hosted in Room 143, is part of CommuniCare Club’s mission statement to grant money to organizations providing “services to people facing addictions” in the hopes to “understand the root causes of addiction and bring humanization to the topic.” It will run for the rest of the week, with all of the proceeds donated to a local non-profit focused on addiction recovery. 

“We’ve been meeting all year talking about drug addiction,” Director of Faith Programs and Campus Ministry Ms. Sarah Maher said. “And now we get to meet nonprofits and help folks who are either overcoming addiction or preventative measures.”

In the past, the club raised money almost entirely through Café Justo, but this year they have begun to branch out, fundraising through Candy Grams and now a pop-up thrift store. 

They brainstormed the idea for a pop-up thrift store — which was done once three years ago by the AAPI affinity group — and for the last month have been collecting “bags and bags” of clothing donations, according to Ms. Maher, which are then sorted, packed up, and folded so that people can come in and easily find what they’re looking for. 

Ms. Maher, staff adviser for the club, said that any money they raise will be matched by the Schnitzer Foundation. Five nonprofits will be interviewed over the next two to three weeks and they will then decide around the end of March which to donate to, looking for criteria such as how well they fit the club’s mission statement. 

“We will try to keep it open until we have to close, [if] people want to keep shopping,” Ms. Maher said. “So even if we’re done raising money for CommuniCare, we can give those funds to Mwangaza College, we can help with other organizations, too.”

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