The Business of Giving
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April 22, 2009 10:15 AM
Posted by Kristi Heim
One segment of the retail world bucking the trend of declining sales is thrift stores. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is opening its seventh thrift store in King County today to coincide with Earth Day. The 16,000-square-foot store in Kent replaces a former carpet business that sold the building to the charity in November.
SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL
The local charity is using the event to encourage both giving to the community and recycling. More than 2,500 tons of material is recycled through store sales and reclamation efforts each year, said Richard Bray, director of donor and community relations.
Proceeds from thrift store sales directly fund assistance to people in the community, including food, clothing, furniture and help paying rent and utility bills.
"The nature of our work compels us to expand during tough times," Bray said. "St. Vincent de Paul's outreach grew in the Great Depression and we are growing during this "Great Recession" too."
This past year, the Catholic charity says it has received more than 29,000 calls for help in King County, including a 50 percent increase in people at its food bank.