“Good Buy” Thrift Store Receives Boost from Town

A Bigger and Better WRJ Recycling Center Thrift Store Now Offering Furniture!

The Town of Hartford has graciously agreed to expand the space available to SEVCA’s “Good Buy” Thrift Store at the town’s Transfer Station and Recycling Center on a six-month trial basis. This will enable the store to offer a much bigger and better selection of furniture, clothing, and household goods; keep usable items out of the landfill and get them into the hands of residents who need them; and enhance its ability to continue to operate at that site.

Declining revenues in some locations had led SEVCA to consider various options to ensure the sustainability of its Thrift Store operations, including the possible closing of the Recycling Center site altogether. But when Town Manager Hunter Rieseberg learned the store might close, he acted quickly to get approval from the Select Board for the store to use the additional 1,000 square foot space, formerly serving as the recycling education center, on a six-month trial basis.

“This is a really exciting development,” said Tonia White, Director of SEVCA’s Thrift Stores and Textile Recycling program. “This could be just what we need to boost revenue and keep our store open at the Recycling Center location. With the additional space, we can offer a lot more variety and a higher volume of high quality used furniture and clothing, and that will attract a lot more shoppers. We also look forward to being able to take a lot more donations than we currently have the capacity to accept.” 

The expanded space, which SEVCA has named the “Furniture Annex,” opened for business on August 20. SEVCA will assess the impact of the expanded space over the next six months and will work with the Town Manager to determine what the future will hold for the Recycling Center store.

The “Good Buy” Thrift Stores are part of SEVCA’s multi-pronged strategy to combat poverty in Southeastern Vermont. Last year, SEVCA served over 13,000 people in Windham and Windsor counties through a range of programs such as crisis fuel assistance, homelessness prevention, Weatherization, home repair, business start-up and support, job readiness and skills training, Financial Fitness, asset building, Head Start, Food Stamp outreach, access to affordable health care, budgeting/savings, and information & referral, as well as the thrift stores. Not only do the stores offer products that meet people’s basic needs at very low prices on a daily basis, they often provide those items free of charge to households experiencing especially difficult crises. In addition to assisting its own clients, SEVCA has a strong partnership with The Upper Valley Haven, providing free clothing and household goods to help the homeless families they serve to get back on their feet.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead