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St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores see donations and shoppers return in abundance

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Donations have more than doubled, while shoppers return to search for bargains in all of the new merchandise

CINCINNATI, JUNE 24, 2020 – The pandemic has made two things abundantly clear.

One, there’s little doubt what people did once they were sent home: Cleaned. They channeled their inner Marie Kondo and cleaned their basements, their attics, their garages, their kids’ rooms, their closets, their cars. And then they donated their unwanted items to St. Vincent de Paul. Donations to our thrift stores are typically strong, but in the two weeks since the stores have reopened the amount of donations have more than doubled.

And, two, being stuck inside at home gave them an itch to get out and shop. As soon as our stores reopened, they returned in record numbers. The line outside of our Milford Thrift Store stretched the length of the building with people waiting for the doors to reopen for the first time.

“We didn’t know exactly what kind of reaction to expect once the stores reopened,” say St. Vincent de Paul Executive Director Mike Dunn. “We didn’t know if they would be hesitant to return, or if they would put on masks and gives and come back with abandon because they were excited about all of the new merchandise we had available. It turns out it they were excited.”

To help ease any health concerns shoppers might have, St. Vincent de Paul implemented numerous safety precautions before reopening.
· An employee has been designated to clean and disinfect all shopping carts as they are returned after each use.
· All employees wear gloves and N95 masks, and have their temperatures taken regularly.
· All counters are cleaned at least once an hour.
· Shoppers are counted as they enter the store, with limits set on the number of people allowed in the store at a given time to assure adequate room for social distancing.
· Spots are marked on the floor both in each aisle and in the space leading up to the checkout registers to account for adequate social distancing.
· Plexiglas shields have been built at each registers to limit contact.
· Each store is thoroughly cleaned each night.

“Our employees and our shoppers mean everything to us,” says Dunn, “so we wanted to go to whatever lengths necessary to protect them. We will continue to be vigilant about health and safety issues, and enforce city, state and national guidelines as we move forward.”

St. Vincent de Paul’s seven thrift stores opened the week of May 18. Proceeds from the sales at the thrift stores go to fund the social services programs that St. Vincent de Paul offers, including providing nearly $800,000 in free clothing vouchers to our neighbors in need each year.

About St. Vincent de Paul – Cincinnati
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been providing innovative, practical emergency assistance to Greater Cincinnati residents in need for more than150 years. The organization works personally with those in need, regardless of race or creed, to bridge the spiritual, emotional and material gaps in their lives through home visits provided by neighborhood-based volunteer groups, and groundbreaking initiatives like the Charitable Pharmacy as well as a network of 11 food pantries and seven thrift stores and donation centers across Cincinnati. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Cincinnati is a network of neighbors, inspired by Gospel values, growing in holiness and building a more just world through personal relationships with and service to people in need. For more information, visit SVDPcincinnati.org.
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