I recently saw an ad in my local paper for Hope Boutique and Restoration announcing they were having a Grand Re-Opening of their Charities of Hope Thrift Store. They described the Hope Boutique as “a thrift store meets flea market” and that they “support an organization run by, and for, survivors of violence.” From the description, I was prompted to learn more.
According to their website, Charities of Hope is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving back to the Connecticut community, non-profits, and to causes and charities that help those who need it most. Their not-for-profit transforms people’s donated clothing, shoes, home goods and used furniture into a monetary donation for a local charity to provide job placement and training.
Charities of Hope’s Thrift Store (Hope Boutique) partners with Connecticut based CT-Alive, an organization that provides support to domestic violence survivors. They provide coats, boots, and baby gear to local shelters and uniforms, back packs and school supplies to local schools. They also provide home goods to individuals in transition from being homeless and to those in emergency situations. And they deliver Panera Bread products and other food items to over 50 CT shelters.
Their website is comprehensive. They provide info on how to run a clothing drive, a list of where their drop-off bins are located, how to get involved through volunteering and information on how to use the AmazonSmile program so when you shop at Amazon.com a percentage of your purchase supports their organization. Their testimonial page is filled with heartfelt words and stories from those touched by Charities of Hope’s generosity.
One thing that I really liked about their offerings is that they have an Estate Pick-up Program. You can call their main office to schedule a pick-up or fill out a form right on their website. A representative comes to the residence to evaluate the project and determine the best way to pick-up the donation. Charities of Hope stresses that the Estate Pick-Up Program is only available during the following circumstances:
- A senior downsizing into a smaller home or moving in with a family member or caregiver
- A person moving to a retirement facility, nursing home, or assisted living facility or a new home
- Replacing gently used furniture or appliances
- The passing of a loved one
- After an estate sale or in place of one
If your circumstances do not meet any of the following criteria, you can take donations to their Donation Center located at 770 Wethersfield Avenue, Hartford, CT. Contact them for donation drop-off times.
After doing all this research, I felt it only right to go and visit the facility myself. My son and I took a jaunt into the capital city and found it with little issue as it’s on a main thoroughfare. We were greeted warmly at the door by Dee Dee, who was working the counter that day. She was friendly to my son and even picked out some books for him to look at while I shopped. I ended up with a shirt for my husband, two tops for my son and a necklace and pair of gloves for me – all for $13! Everything was name brand and two items still had store tags on them. Before leaving I also got to meet the store manager, Lydia, who was so helpful and sweet. She explained more about the organization and provided me with some brochures.
Below are some pictures I took inside the store. As you can see, the space is bright and welcoming. Each department has its own room and they’re clean and well organized. They even run a fun sale where you can load up a bag of any 10 items with a star on the price tag and only pay $5. Many of their sale signs were written in both English and Spanish.
Pictured are bags, books and bling.
You can see in the top right of the picture how they clip pants by the pant leg. I love when stores do this, so you can easily see the inside tag for size info.
Baby and toddler section complete with clothing, gear and accessories.
Furniture and housewares department.
To learn more, please visit: http://www.charitiesofhope.org/
I love learning about great, charitable programs in my very own community! Next time you’re looking to donate your unused or unloved items, please think of Charities of Hope or a similar charitable organization in your area.