The Drew's Thrift Shop is a story of unique resolution and dedication. The history of the Thrift Shop begins in 1953 when Maude Boyce, a member of Drew U.M.C., visited a thriving New England Thrift Shop. Drew needed funds for a new wing which today houses Sloat Hall (the Gym) and the Education wing of the Church. Maude convinced our Women's Society of Christian Service that a Thrift Shop could help provide the Church with needed funds. The shop opened in the barn behind what was the parsonage at that time. It still stands in the back of our present Thrift Shop. Since 1953 the Thrift Shop has been in continuous service. It has always been staffed by volunteers and has provided affordable clothing and household items all those years. It has held to its dual purpose of a money raising enterprise and a mission effort.
Will be re-opening Spring of 2016.
In the Sixties the Thrift Shop contributed to such causes as finishing the Sunday School rooms, furnishing Gould Lounge, and helping to pay the salaries of assistant pastors.
1965 also began the Thrift Shop's most ambitious project. The pastor had been moved from the south house, the building between the barn and route 52. The Thrift Shop, with Church approval and support began to move into this building. The Thrift Shop, using only the back entrance, developed the kitchen, study, and dining room area for use. The front part of the house and the upstairs were closed off. It was not until the following spring that the shop expanded into the entire downstairs. During this time there was no water hooked up to the building. All water for cleaning had to be carried from the Church. There was no bathroom, no telephone, and no heat. To make this effort even more remarkable, the shop increased from being open one day per week to two and was open from late April until Thanksgiving weekend. Shop records show that 75 persons, both members and non-members were involved in some aspect of the Thrift Shop operation in 1970.
During the sixties electricity was added one section of the shop at a time and water was hooked up. Electric heat was installed. On April 7, 1971 a magic milestone was reached: a telephone was installed. In 1971 the Thrift Shop separated itself from being supported by the United Methodist Women and has paid its own bills ever since. During this era, in order to be self supporting, shop members would host a coffee hour one Tuesday a month for all who donated goods. The gathering would be held on the shop's back patio. Special plant and food sales were held on some Saturday's and the shop would be open on those days.
During the late 1980's the shop was completed to look as it does today. Through a generous bequest from Mr. and Mrs. Walter Ludewig, its interior was refurbished and its exterior was completely resided. 2010 marked the 175th anniversary of Drew United Methodist Church as a congregation. It also marked the 57th anniversary of the Drew Thrift Shop. Our Church has survived and grown thnaks to the faith and determination of our members. That faith and determination was well illustrated by the founders of our Thrift Shop and it continues in our Thrift Shop volunteers to this date.
2013 marked our 60th year of operation. A Pastor told the congregation that each should do something that would multiply their gifts. The shop began as an idea sparked by Maude Boyce when she imitated the shops she visited in Cape Cod, because she didn’t think she had any gifts.
In 1994, we boasted 50 volunteers and were asking people to consider helping. In 1997, we had 40 volunteers to continue with the mission for our community. Currently we are just over 30 volunteers and need people to continue this vital mission. For safety purposes there must be at least three volunteers present in order to keep the shop open during the hours of sales operation. The actual person-hours during the 16 hours totals 48 hours at a minimum. In addition, there is a crew Wednesday evenings consisting of four volunteers working at least three hours. With the needs outside these hours volunteers and board members easily exceed 60 person-hours each week. Records indicate the number of person-hours has not changed for the past 15 years. The average age of the volunteer crew is somewhere in the area of seventy give or take a year or two. The worked performed consists of sorting, pricing and processing the items received through donations.
Of today’s 30 plus volunteers one third are members of another religious affiliation and not members of Drew. We are now serving the community with the community. We help students obtain their Community Service credit.
We provide vouchers for community agencies helping folks in need or those living in domestic violence safe homes.We assist people receiving treatment or care through Arms Acres, Birthright and the Red Cross. We increase the number of vouchers every year. The Boy Scouts have restored the barn for the church and Thrift Shop use through Eagle Scout projects that are mutually satisfying needs. We have provided free clothing for interviews for those having completed an Employment training offered by one of our church members in recent years, served families suffering loss due to fires and delivered clothing to the Catskills after Hurricane Irene. We collect blankets and towels unfit for sale and deliver them to Putnam Humane Society. Baby clothing was sent to Native Americans in need through Kings Daughters. We have sent books to Thailand for a teacher to help realize a dream fulfill the children’s needs.
We are a vital resource in the community. The quality continues to improve and the need for more volunteers is urgent and increasing rapidly.
It seems Maude Boyce, an extraordinary woman, multiplied her gift in an extraordinary way.
Volunteers needed for busy thrift shop, especially Saturdays 10 ’til 2. Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 ’til 1 and 1 ’til 4.
No experience necessary.
Position features many benefits, including but not limited to pleasant work environment, rewarding work, fun colleagues, and appreciative customers.
Give it a Try! We need you.
Thrift Shop News
Check out the new fall line of clothing and household items! During the last
week of July, Thrift Shop volunteers cleaned out the shop, emptying the shelves
of old merchandise to make way for a whole new selection for the upcoming
season. Thanks to all the hard work by volunteers and the beautiful donations
collected in recent months, the shop is stocked and ready to go for the grand reopening on Saturday,
Business this year has been great; as of the end of July the Thrift Shop contributed $20,000 to the
As successful as the year has been, staffing the shop with enough volunteers continues to be a
challenge, especially on Saturdays. This is a particular problem this year, since one of our longtime and
most dedicated volunteers, Dorothy Sinatra, moved away in July. Dorothy, who served as a member of
the Thrift Shop Board and Saturday coordinator, is dearly missed already.
So . . . please consider giving us a hand. It’s a great chance to put your Christian beliefs to practical
use, and, in the process, have some fun. As always, the shop is need of gently used clothing and
household goods. Please contact Corina Waldrup at email@example.com or Kathy Fleming at
firstname.lastname@example.org See you in the shop!