There are a multitude of charities that benefit from thrift store proceeds. In Florida, where retirement is a major industry, it makes perfect sense to have thrift shops supporting senior residences.
The Pines of Sarasota offers assisted living, skilled nursing care and memory care residences. The facilities run two thrift shops, both called Fabulous Finds, which benefit its residents.
Like most thrift stores in Florida, these shops sell both clothes and furniture. There also are linens, housewares, greeting cards, jewelry, small appliances and collectibles.
The prices are higher than the Salvation Army and Value Village level, but below most consignment shops. Blouses typically are in the $12 to $15 range, with dresses in the $22 to $25 range.
Bargains can be found. We considered some Stuart Weitzman herringbone wool flats for $10 and bought a vintage beaded change purse (with pale blue crystals) for $1.95. Two pairs of unusual clip-on earrings were $2.95 each and a Barack Obama for Florida 2008 political button was just 50 cents.
Volunteers sort, price, arrange merchandise and assist customers – and earn deep discounts on all merchandise when they work four hours each week. Because of the community’s support, the shops are well organized and fun to shop. The two stores are just a block away from each other, so it’s easy to visit both. The Pines sends out trucks for large donations and does a brisk business with donors dropping off goods as well.
Truly dedicated thrifters can sign up for email blasts to be alerted to sales and store events.
Sarasota is an epicenter of thrifting opportunities. There are two dozen excellent thrift stores, including the expansive Women’s Exchange and a ThriftStyle favorite, Canned Ham Vintage. A thrifting bus tour could not handle stops to all the worthwhile thrifts in Sarasota in a day. If you’re fortunate enough to be in sunny Sarasota, know that it’s easy to shop for a good cause.
Fabulous Finds Thrift Shop, Pines of Sarasota (main campus), 1221 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236. 941-552-1849 www.PinesofSarasota.org
Fabulous Finds Thrift Shop, Pines of Sarasota (south campus), 1038 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236. 941-365-1616
Hours for both: Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.