A Brief History of the Trinity Community Thrift Store


Trinity Community Thrift Store was a dream of Church Member Paul Audy.  He always wanted to be able to help people and give back to his community.  Paul started doing this several years ago, by volunteering at TUMC’s Annual Thrift Sales.  Paul loves to interact with people, and this is something that he does well, and had been serving his community for many years prior.  In Summer of 2009, Pastor Becca Girrill, during a weekly sermon asked every member of the congregation a question, which she wanted everyone to think about:  She asked: “What do you see yourself doing/want to be doing 5 years from now?”

Later, she spoke to Paul, and asked him again, and he replied “I want to run a Thrift Store.” Pastor Becca took that information, and thought about it, and within a day or so, asked Paul to come to her office, and he was taken downstairs.  She opened a storage room downstairs, and he said “What are we doing down in this store room?”  Pastor Becca said “This is your NEW Thrift Store Space!…….I will help you, and we will get the volunteers we need to make it happen……..You have FOUR MONTHS to make it happen.”  With a LOT of help from the Church, the Community and Volunteers, the Thrift Store opened for business in November of 2009, and with the exception of 2 periods of closure, One in  2016, and one from 2019 to 2021, the The Thrift Store has been in continuous operation, serving the community by providing Affordable clothing, accessories,  items and information to the Montpelier, Central Vermont Area, and beyond. The Thrift Store Opened for Business on November 14, 2009.

Paul Audy founded the Thrift Store, and Served as Director of this Ministry from 2009 to 2017.  Along with his friends Jonah Zablow, who served as Store Manager from 2009-2010, and was Co-Founder, and William Sanderson, Store Manager from 2011-present, and Brian S. Baker, who served as Operations Manager from 2011-2017, the Thrift Store has evolved from just a place to get items you need or want, to a place where its mission has also changed to be more in line with the idea that we want to help people, give back to the Community, and focus on the service function, rather than to focus on making revenue exclusively.

Brian became Director of the Thrift Store Ministry, On April 2, 2017, after Paul stepped down and retired.  (Even though Paul retired in 2017, he DOES visit TUMC from time to time, so you may see him in the store from time to time, or at a sale event)  Brian has been Serving with William Sanderson as Store Manager, since about 2010.  It is Brian’s Vision to be able to help the community, and provide a place where people can get things they need at low to-no-cost, and to be able to continue to use his skills to serve the Lord and the TUMC as a way to give of himself.

Article published in The Montpelier Bridge Regarding the Store’s Beginning: Store Article from 2009