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Thursday, October 30, 2014

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Thrift shop volunteers needed

Published 2:41 pm, Wednesday, August 20, 2014
  • New Canaan resident George Mandler, above, volunteers at the New Canaan Thrift Shop. Proceeds from the shop, which is seeking volunteers, directly benefit the patients of Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed / New Canaan News Contributed
    New Canaan resident George Mandler, above, volunteers at the New Canaan Thrift Shop. Proceeds from the shop, which is seeking volunteers, directly benefit the patients of Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed

 

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The New Canaan Thrift Shop is looking for volunteers for a few hours a week.

New Canaan resident George Mandler, who has helped build homes for the homeless, volunteered his time in support of international relief missions and embraces environmental causes, is one of the volunteers at the shop.

"What we're doing here is helping people get along," said Mandler, who runs the cash register, accepts donations, helps set up before the Thrift Shop's doors open at noon and then works until closing at 4 p.m.

Unlike the other causes in which he has been involved, Mandler said he derives gratification from his efforts at the New Canaan Thrift Shop.

"I like the recycling aspect -- the clothes and other items that people no longer need or want are being used by someone else," he said. "Also, people have the opportunity to buy top quality merchandise inexpensively and the money goes to a good cause."

All proceeds from the sale of donated items at the New Canaan Thrift Shop directly benefit the home health and hospice patients of Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County.

Longtime volunteer and now manager of the New Canaan Thrift Shop Susanne Palmer enjoys interacting with the clientele.

"You get to know the regulars," she said. "People come to me for help or an opinion about an item of clothing. Sometimes I put whole wardrobes together for customers. The personal contact with people is enormously rewarding."

Located at 2 Locust Ave., the New Canaan Thrift Shop is one of the oldest volunteer-run stores in the country. The shop sells gently-used articles of clothing, accessories, jewelry, housewares, china, silver, books, toys, games, sporting goods, small appliances, crockery and small home furnishings. The thrift shop also donates items to relief organizations for refugees around the world, and is a resource for the town's social services organizations.

"This is a wonderful place and a great cause and there's a lot of camaraderie among our volunteers," Palmer said. "But there is no shortage of work to be done and we could use more help."

The New Canaan Thrift Shop is open from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

To volunteer, call 203-761-8958, ext. 316.