What better way to celebrate August 17th, National Thrift Store Day, then at a volunteer-driven thrift that helps support fully a dozen charities, helping with housing, prison ministries, hunger issues and more.
The New Life Thrift Shop in Lewes, Delaware, is a ministry of the Lewes-Rehoboth Association of Churches, drawing on the membership of some 18 congregations for its helpers. They don blue shirts and meticulously organize the clothing, accessories, housewares and furniture of this large, busy community treasure.
It’s located behind a Jiffy Lube, which is itself on the busy coastal highway that connects several Delmarva beach towns. A second adjoining building holds a large, ever-changing collection of well-priced furniture. Donors can call for free furniture pick-ups.
A steady stream of cars dropping off donations is good news for shoppers. The prices are at the customary bargain level for many nonprofit thrifts, with many clothing items in the $2 to $4 range. We departed with a tags-on purple oxford shift for $5, white slacks for $2.50, a multi-colored summer sweater at $4 and a $7 white nylon lined rain jacket. With the 10 percent senior discount, given every Thursday, we contributed $16.65 to a worthy enterprise while gaining four wardrobe basics.
Special sales are continual at this 26-year-old thrift. Monthly calendars are handed out listing the different sales, from 50 percent off on furniture, books, DVDS, toys, mirrors, kitchen ware, lamps, leather jackets, and more, depending on the day. Every Wednesday in August, the store’s extensive collection of purses and wallets are half off. Every Fridays brings a 50 percent discount on bathing suits and shorts. The entire month is half-off for artwork and frames. Children’s books are 10 for $1 all summer long, a good boost for long summer vacations.
There are summer closeouts, St. Patrick’s Day sales, Halloween extravaganzas, wedding dress sales (50 percent off), Christmas in July sales, June glassware and chair sales, summer hats, Sombreros for Cinco de Mayo, and a President’s Day Winter Coat sale, with a 50 percent discount extending to coats, boots, hats, gloves and men’s suits and ties. By keeping track of the monthly sales, either by visiting or checking the thrift’s Facebook page, locals could buy nearly every category of clothing and furnishings for half off the already low prices.
The shop garners more than $500,000 yearly in sales, which are distributed to local charities including Meals on Wheels, the Lewes After-School Program, Habitat for Humanity and the Cape Henlopen Food Basket.
This is a store that gives new life to clothing, furnishings and the citizens of its community. We think that’s worth celebrating on this national day to recognize thrift.
New Life Thrift Shop, 34686 Jiffy Way, Lewes, DE 19958. 302-644-0171. www.newlifeofdelaware.org
Open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.