Submitted by: Assistance League of Bellingham
Answer: At Assistance League of Bellingham’s Thrift & Gift Shop located on 2817 Meridian Street, across from Haggen in Bellingham. The shop is our main source of funding for our four philanthropic programs in Whatcom County. Operation School Bell®, our signature program, provided over 2,200 kids in need with new clothing in 2019-2020.
What makes Thrift & Gift so special? Not just one thing, but all the features you are looking for! This is what our shoppers say…
- You are greeted with smiles and welcoming help
- It smells fresh
- It is organized and inviting
- New items are brought out daily
- The prices are fantastic!
We love volunteering at our shop and are there to serve you. You are important to us and our mission. We have fun putting different items on sale each week. We see many of you on Tuesday when we unveil our refreshed shop with new displays. Then we see many of you on Thursday for the 65 and older 20% discount on…EVERYTHING!
Our website and Facebook page will keep you informed on what to rush in to find before the “others” beat you there!
But there is more to be found at Thrift & Gift than just GREAT deals. We look forward to seeing so many familiar faces as well as new ones each week. One of our shoppers shared her story with us…
My name is Jodi Borrelli. I am a recovering opioid addict. My addiction began after a shoulder injury and pain medication prescribed by my doctor. I went from soccer mom and PTA president to heroin addict living on the streets of Tacoma, and making an appearance on Washington’s Most Wanted.
I moved to Bellingham with a duffel bag of clothes after addiction stole everything of the beautiful life I once had. Assistance League Thrift & Gift has become part of my weekly routine and a place of healing. The ladies that volunteer their time have a special place in my heart. Their warm smiles and genuine kindness, cheer me up on the rainiest of days. These ladies truly have a gift that radiates throughout the entire store.
One of my biggest challenges was starting over from nothing. Through Assistance League Thrift & Gift, I have been able to overcome this challenge in a therapeutic and healing way. Anything I need, I can usually find it there, but it’s much more than that. It’s not just about the writing desk I use to journal, or the antique lamp I read by at night. It’s about the intangible things. The memories that come flooding back when I find a Mickey Mouse ornament, like the ones I used to have, or the tea set for my daughter’s birthday.
It is through this magical place, I have found healing, joy, and the ability to rebuild a new life, often $5-10 at a time. Thank you, Assistance League Thrift & Gift.
Jodi’s story is one example of how the 150 “member volunteers” of Assistance League of Bellingham get “paid.”
In 2019 Thrift & Gift was the main support for the following programs:
- Operation School Bell®– new school clothes for 2,200 children in need
- Enrichment Scholarship Program – $55,717 in summer scholarships
- Care Center Support – personalized gifts for 131 care center residents
- Hospital Patient Support – emergency clothing for 550 ER patients
Seeing the kids with new clothes, students experiencing enriching opportunities through the summer, elders being remembered throughout the year, and ER patients leaving the hospital in clean new clothes that we supply…these are our energy source.
We are open Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm. Donations can be delivered to our back door in our alley. Just ring the bell and you will be greeted with a smile and a donation receipt. Wednesday – Saturday 10 pm – 4 pm.
Please call us with any questions or suggestions at 360-738-2803.
Remember: All funds raised stay in Whatcom County. We are a nonprofit organization transforming lives and strengthening our community through philanthropic programs within Whatcom County.