Once-weekly thrift shop helps underserved organizations
By: Margaret Butler
On Thursday mornings, the parking lot of Saint James Episcopal Church is bustling with shoppers flocking to The Thursday Thrift Shop. Operated by a group of altruistic volunteers, Thursday Thrift is unlike most other thrift stores in the area.
It began 50 years ago when a group of St. James parishioners were looking for a way to raise funds for church members in nursing homes. They began selling items out of the back of a station wagon on 7th Avenue before moving to a temporary storefront, and, ultimately, landing in their permanent home at St. James.
Dotty Jacobs, a parishioner of St. James, has dedicated her efforts to Thursday Thrift for around nine years. “It has always been The Thursday Thrift Shop at Saint James. We don’t vary… in typical Episcopalian fashion,” quips Jacobs.
In the break room, she pulls out a covered binder of the list of benefitting charities throughout the years. “Our purpose is to support and donate to organizations that are lost in the shuffle,” she explains. “We have given to Vocational Solutions, an organization that seeks employment for disabled adults; Project Dignity of WNC, who provide female hygiene products to women in need; and Grow Your Own, who work to build a racially diverse teaching workforce,” she says.
The expansive list doesn’t stop there. Thursday Thrift has also donated to the Feed the Kids Coalition, the Blue Ridge Literacy Council, the Backpack Program, El Centro, the Hendersonville Rescue Mission, and many others. In 2021, the organization raised $44,700 for the community.
The excellent quality of items for sale also sets Thursday Thrift apart. “We never knowingly put something out with a chip in it,” declares Jacobs. “Everything has been sorted for quality. Rejected items are set in a free bin outside.” The shop’s consignment program, which accepts jewelry, furniture, art, china, and other goods, also helps fill the store with excellent items. The Thursday Thrift Shop’s reputation has caught on in Hendersonville, and the store typically has a line of eager shoppers waiting to get in on Thursday mornings.
But the program also depends on the generosity of volunteers and donations to keep open. Jacobs praises the organization’s dependable volunteers, made up of 57 parishioners from Saint James and other local churches, who are incredibly loyal. “If they’ve committed to a certain day, they’re there,” Jacobs says proudly.
As more thrift shops pop up in Hendersonville, she expresses hope that donors will still think of Thursday Thrift. “If we don’t have donations, we don’t have sales,” says Jacobs.
The Thursday Thrift Shop, St. James Episcopal Church, 766 North Main St., Hendersonville. Open for shopping on Thursdays from 9:30am-2pm . (Donations and consignments are accepted Mondays and Tuesdays from 9-11:30am.) 828-693-3865.