Saint Vincent de Paul thrift store has its reopening

Facility currently not taking donations, but will accept volunteers

EMILY LIU/The Sun: After one year of being closed, the Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store is reopening on Friday, June 4. They will not be accepting donations until a further time. The store’s mission is to help people in need.

Though it had been closed for more than a year due to COVID, St. Vincent de Paul’s thrift store volunteers were primed for reopening on June 4.

Starting June 15, the Berlin store will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday  from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Though the building is small, its deeds are great: The store is part of the St. Simon Stock Conference’s efforts to serve those in need.

“Our group thought that the thrift store would meet the needs of people who need really cheap stuff … and it would provide a more constant revenue stream for what we need to do,” explained Cathy Rainey, president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

“So basically, our conference formed a nonprofit that we own, that’s ours, that’s called Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Berlin. It’s all volunteer based.”

EMILY LIU/The Sun: he Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store is run entirely by volunteers and donations. Though they’ve been closed for over a year, everyone is excited to reopen. In the back row, from left to right is Kevin Dark (Store Committee President), Joe Shaughnessy, Mary Spicer and to her right on the step below with a sun visor is Caroline Padavano and below to her right is Terrie Romeo. In the front row starting on the left: Cathy Rainey, Kerry Broshius, Cathy Kendig, Mary Ellen Aicher and Phyllis Sabatini.
EMILY LIU/The Sun: The Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry stays open throughout the pandemic. Thanks to new guidelines from the state, in the past year they have been able to service more than just their parish area, being Berlin Borough, Berlin Township, Albion, Pine Hill, and Clementon. Featured here are the volunteers who keep the organization running. From left to right: Kevin Dark, Dennis Chang, Ed Price, Joe Shaughnessy, Jeff Gangliano, Rick Danser and Debbie Williams.

The thrift store is a place that welcomes people in all kinds of circumstances.

“Some people just like to go thrifting,” Rainey said. “It’s like yard saling; it’s just a fun way to get great stuff at bargain prices.”

But the store, along with a food pantry that operates from the same building, also serves a need.

“A lot of the people we service at the food pantry come here and get their clothes,” Rainey noted. “Some people go into a domestic abuse shelter or the drug center and the social worker will bring them here, and sometimes they have nothing. They walked out with whatever they had.

“For them, for people we consider people in need, we just give them what they need.

While donations to the store are temporarily on hold, previous items collected included new and gently used clothing, accessories, jewelry, household items,  games, books, puzzles and toys — nearly everything but furniture, mainly because the store does not have the space for it.

EMILY LIU/The Sun: The Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store offers women’s clothes, men’s clothes, children’s clothes, books, games, home decor and other household items at bargain prices.

Some items that were unsellable but not broken were donated by the thrift to other organizations.

It has not been determined when the store will again accept donations, but Rainey estimated it will be at least another month. It is accepting volunteers, who can call (856) 767-7391 on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for information.