BRANDON – Holiday shopping at Life’s Treasure Thrift Store isn’t just about saving money during difficult economic times – customers know they are helping to support unfunded hospice end-of-life programs, according to thrift store manger Cheryl Ann Haley.
Haley of Temple Terrace said she even found a holiday gift for her mother at the thrift store, 1335 W. Brandon Blvd., Suite C, which opened Sept. 23.
“There are things you see that remind you of your childhood,” she said. “I found a penguin ice bucket that my grandmother and my grandfather had. I bought the ice bucket as a gift for my mom because it reminded me of that family time.”
Haley said the shop will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. leading up to the holidays.
“A lot of people are shopping here for clothing,” she said. “We have name-brand merchandise and a lot of the tags are still on them. We get a lot of new DVDs, a good selection of books that appear to be brand new and unique jewelry.”
She said vintage clothing is especially popular with shoppers in their 20s. Home décor items, especially those still in the original packaging, also draws holiday shoppers.
Karen Butcher of Brandon said she both shops at the thrift store and donates items. She plans to donate anything she doesn’t sell at an upcoming garage sale.
“I like it here,” she said. “I bought some Christmas cups with cats on them when I was here last week. They will make little gift items to give cat people.”
Butcher said she considers herself a frugal person who also likes to give back to her community.
Haley said the new Brandon 9,000-square-foot thrift store boasts 129 volunteers including 16 teenagers.
“Last month we used 1,563 volunteer hours,” she said. “The majority of our volunteers have personal connections with hospice. The majority of our donors have a personal connection with hospice.”
She said some people have the misconception that everything sold at the thrift store are items belonging to people who have died, because of their hospice affiliation. Donations come from philanthropic community members as well as other thrift shops that have surplus items or specialize in others kinds of merchandise.
Donors may call to arrange pick-up of large donations and furniture. Pick up is available Mondays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The store accepts donations in the receiving area in the rear of the building from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on regular business days.
“We are new to the Brandon area and it’s our first established building,” Haley said. “The response has been amazing.”
For more information on the Life’s Treasure Thrift Store, call (813) 653-4616. LifePath Hospice’s administrative office is at 3010 W. Azeele St., Tampa. Their Hospice Houses are in Sun City Center and Temple Terrace.