Beloved Tucson thrift store reopens


TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A local thrift shop that’s been around since the 50′s is back open today after closing because of COVID-19. Volunteers and customers told us just how much today meant to them.

”It was wonderful to welcome people back to the store. It feels alive again,” said Assistance League of Tucson president, Kim Sparling.

There was a line out the door today as people waited to get into one of their favorite stores. One customer said, “It’s a Tucson treat.”

Assistance league of Tucson closed three times throughout the past year due to pandemic concerns. Today, they reopened after making some adjustments to make the store safer for customers.

Sparling said, “We had to install PPE which you see up at the front, install maps, install signs that ask everyone to wear masks.”

This volunteer-run thrift store serves more than 5,000 members of the community through various programs.

“Not only is our thrift store open, but our programs are still serving the community and haven’t stopped once during the pandemic,” Sparling explained.

Their signature program, Operation School Bell, provides clothes, backpacks, books, and shoes to children in need. Customers said the store’s mission was one of the reasons they loved to shop here.

Michael Koonce, a customer, said, “They take the money and do good things with it. There’s not one lady in this store that takes a wage.”

Right now, the store is open to about 40 percent capacity to allow social distancing, but customers say they don’t mind waiting in line. They’re just happy to be shopping here again.

20 year customers and mother and daughter, Miriam and Suzanne Bott, said it “feels like we’re seeing lots of old friends too when we come back here. We’ve known the women who have been working here for years and years.”

They said you never know what you might find. From clothes to toys to antiques, the possibilities are endless and it all supports a good cause.

Assistance league of Tucson will be open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in addition to their online store.

They are also now accepting donations and you can drive up to the back of the store to drop them off.

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