Friday, November 2, 2012

Shop For A Cause: Thrift Stores on Colfax Avenue

By Barb Tobias
Special to The Denver Post

The community programs that benefit from most thrift stores may not be foremost in the minds of bargain-hunting shoppers. Like many people, my early motivation to try "thrifting" was purely for the thrill of the hunt and the joy of snatching up fabulous items for a fraction of their original retail price.
But when I began looking behind the scenes at these stores, I realized that many secondhand stores are part of larger organizations that support philanthropic causes ranging from crisis pregnancy centers to animal rescue, and that proceeds from shopping these places really can help the poor, destitute, challenged, abused or dying.
What follows are my favorite philanthropic thrift stores [on Colfax Avenue].
These thrift shops champion community outreach:

Sheryl Higsby hangs clothing at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store on East Colfax Avenue. She has worked there since 1999. These stores train employees and support programs that provide food and financial and emergency assistance to the poor. (Photos by Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post)

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
This thrifting outpost's namesake is a Catholic lay organization that promotes spiritual growth through person-to-person service to those in need.

Nationwide, these stores serve as employment training grounds and support programs that provide nutrition, financial, and emergency assistance to the poor. The St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store is located at 6260 E. Colfax Ave.; 303-388-3315 or

Goodwill's lofty vision is to afford every person the opportunity to achieve his or her fullest potential.
The organization served more than 4.2 million people through employment and training courses in 2011 alone, and spent 82 percent of its total revenue on these programs.
10590 East Colfax Avenue, (303)364-6385.
There are more than 2,650 retail stores and an online auction site,
To find the nearest location, visit

The Assistance League
The Assistance League and its Assistance League Thrift Store are part of a busy national organization. This is an all-volunteer organization that benefits ten charitable programs including:
•ALDO Bear, which distributes teddy bears to children in crisis;
•Arts for Kids, which brings fine arts programs (music, dance and theater) to public school children; and
•Caps for Kids, for which volunteers create fanciful hats for children in hospitals.
 1331 E. Colfax Avenue, 303-861-2122 or

Barb Tobias is a Colorado blogger, speaker, author and online radio show host. Her book, "Tossed & Found: Where Frugal is Chic" (Diva Press), chronicles her journey from farm girl to fashion model to thrift-store fashionista. Read more at

Read more: Shop for a cause: These thrift shops champion community outreach - The Denver Post 

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