Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Athens thrift store hits the $1 million mark

Published October 30, 2014

ATHENS—St. Mary’s Hospice House Thrift Store, which stocks its shelves with inexpensive items, celebrated hitting a $1 million in sales milestone.

“The credit goes to all of our wonderful thrift store volunteers who make this store possible,” said Pat Schlotzhauer in a news release. She is the leader of the auxiliary’s thrift store committee and one of more than 30 volunteers who keep the store open five days a week.

The thrift store opened on April 22, 2008. The idea was to raise funds for St. Mary’s Hospice, which provides care to anyone with a life-limiting condition, regardless of their ability to pay. The hospice is part of the St. Mary’s Health Care System in Athens, which gave the auxiliary a storefront for the hospice thrift store and a loan to renovate it.

When the store opened, the community opened its wallet. In the first six weeks, volunteers sold $17,268 worth of goods.

“An incredible amount of volunteer work goes into each sale,” said Cindy Colley, manager of St. Mary’s Gift Shop and Thrift Store, who has provided professional advice. “Donated items have to be solicited, checked for quality, cleaned, sorted, priced, displayed and sold. The average item is priced at less than $10, so our volunteers had to move more than 100,000 items to reach this milestone.”

After deducting expenses, the volunteers have generated more than $561,000 for St. Mary’s Hospice Services.

St. Mary’s Hospice House Thrift Store is at 2165 W. Broad St., Athens, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Donations of gently used clothes, books, household goods and more are welcome, and large donations can be picked up. Call 706-389-2772 for information.