Thrift and Gift Shop has been connecting senior commerce and Greater Orange for nearly 50 years

Published 12:20 am Tuesday, December 13, 2022

A shop run by volunteers is celebrating 49 years of helping senior citizens increase their income and form friendships by selling only goods produced by seniors to the public.

Thrift and Gift Shop, 350 N 37th St. in Orange, honored the anniversary by raffling off a handmade quilt, “Hole in the Barn Door,” the first week of December.

The shop creates two quilts a year to raffle to help support the shop as well as donate the funds charged for quilting.

A few local senior citizens organized the group as a non-profit in 1973 to give seniors a way to supplement their income and preserve crafts that have long been part of American households.

“I became a volunteer in 1992 when I retired from teaching,” Nelda Allbritton said. “The original creators of the Thrift and Gift Shop organization have passed away. It is donations that have kept the shop open all these years.”

Allbritton said donations range from books, clothing and linen to material and craft supplies. They keep the shop open, and the vendors sell their items at the store.

“The store caters to everyone,” she said. “There is a woman’s department for apparel, shoes and purses. The men have a section for suits and shoes. The children have a section for apparel, shoes and toys. There is a home goods department that sells miscellaneous home items, ranging from books to kitchenware.”

Senior citizens items range from handmade aprons to handmade artwork.

“You will find one-of-a-kind quilting and unique items,” she said. “Knitting, crocheting, sewing, woodworking, painting and jewelry reflect the creator and their love for their crafts.”

There is not an age requirement for volunteering; however, to be a vendor, one must be 55 or older. Guidelines and requirements are available by request at the register.

Thrift and Gift Shop is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 409-886-7649.

— Written by Sierra Kondos