Exploring the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store

Are you thinking about spring cleaning, or at least cleaning out your closet and dresser drawers? Do you wish you could just box up tired decorating items and pass them off to someone without having to set up a garage sale? It’s unacceptable for me to just toss things in the trash to be buried in a landfill. It would be nice if someone could benefit from my cast offs. I started exploring places in my area where I could donate these items. Of course, Goodwill stores seem to be in every community, but I had also heard about the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift store in State College. I decided to check it out yesterday.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international organization of lay Catholics, called to serve the poor in local communities. The most important activity they do is to work with folks in need by providing material assistance such as rent, utilities, food or clothing, job training and emotional support. In south central Pennsylvania (Centre, Blair and Cambria counties) there are eight thrift stores, five food pantries, two food distribution warehouses, a youth ministry program, and two Family Kitchens! Their major fundraising activity is their network of Thrift Stores around the world. Donations of money, clothing and small household items are accepted and sold to support their work. The money stays in the local community.

The local Thrift Store has 140 volunteers who collect, sort, price and sell tons of donated items. Even the managers are unpaid volunteers! You can read more about the beginnings of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at https://ssvpusa.org/ and about the State College store at https://stvincentstatecollege.org/.

The St. Vincent de Paul State College Thrift Store recently (2019) moved to a large building on the Benner Pike. It shares the building with Dick’s Homecare and is near the new Centre Crest facility. My specific goal was to see what they had so I had a better idea of what kinds of things I should donate.

Dick’s Homecare is on the right.
A small display in the entrance area with more information about St. Vincent de Paul and local support.

Entering the store feels like entering a quality Boutique! It does not feel like a Thrift store or a flea market. Very nice!

I was able to talk with the manager on duty who was very clear what kinds of things they accepted…clothing and accessories and small household items. Larger appliances and furniture would be passed on to Centre Peace…another charitable organization nearby. I think I’ll check them out soon. Prices were very reasonable…I was able to get a silk scarf for $1.00.

Volunteer staff ready to help!
Lots of jewelry.
Framed photos and prints all around the room.
Can you believe wedding dresses! I should have come here two weeks ago! Many dresses were priced at $50.
Donations of vintage items are displayed together.
Women’s tops and sweaters.
Men’s suits.
Men’s clothing.
Figurines, displayed well.
A few books.
Volunteers in the back room sorting away!

What wonderful service in this community! Selling items like these keeps them out of landfills, offers bargains to one and all, and the profits benefit the local community! A win all around!

So, if you are wondering where to donate your gently used clothing and household items, St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store will gladly help you out. If you’re looking for bargains to redecorate or add to your wardrobe, the Thrift Store may have just what you’re looking for! If you need assistance with anything, give them a call. If they can’t help you, they are well connected in the community to help you find what you need! Here is their contact information:

So, let’s get started on cleaning out all our “stuff” now that we know a place to pass them on! Enjoy!

Please comment or email me directly at marykisner@comcast.net.

4 thoughts on “Exploring the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store”

  1. One bit of warning. No quilts, nor pillows. Due to bedbug concerns it is illegal for St. Vincent to sell those. There are fines if those are found inside.

    Also, clothes have to be seasonal because there is no room to store much winter clothing in summer or summer clothes in winter. Those along with clothes which are not in good shape are passed on to the Mennonites who use them for their missions.

    So happy shopping and happy downsizing!

  2. What a great blog, complete with REALLY good photos, I will follow Mary’s Musings from now on! And one thing more that you might want to know – There are special bargain days for Seniors and Veterans, call/email them for more information! AND we have Saturday hours, 10-4!!

    My friends and I volunteer there, sorting clothes and putting them out for sale on Friday afternoons, and we can’t wait for Friday to roll around. The work is SO rewarding, and we get to meet the clients and their kids – and half the clothes in my closet now are from SVdP, Talbot’s, Ann Taylor LOFT, Christopher & Banks, Crofts and Barrow, L.L. Bean, Lands End, Woolrich, all my favorite brands, most bought for $3.00 apiece {REALLY!), plus Kat and Jack, Gymboree, and Carter’s for the kids, all for 50 or $1.00 cents each. I live in the Village at Penn State, and I used to shop in those stores – NO MORE! Please come join us, we always need volunteers, and bring your friends too – best volunteer job EVER! You’ll be glad you did!!

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