Frequently Asked Questions

These questions are the ones that our customer base has asked over the last 7.5 years of Thrift Store Operations.  As we have reopened for business once again, I figured that it would be a good time to answer them for all for you. (F.A.Q. Updated: June 20, 2022 By director) Information that appears in GREEN italics has been updated as of the date indicated.

Q: What Happened to the Thrift Store?

A: (UPDATED: June 20, 2022):  The Store CLOSED down for an extended period from March 2019 to March 2022, in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.  The store was performing tasks in "Limited Operations Mode" providing services to customers by doing events such as "outdoor sales" and other events outside of the Church Building.  The Store is now Open again, Saturdays ONLY from 10:00 AM to 12:00PM to serve the public.  Masks are REQUIRED while within the Church Building, and they will be provided  on request. This is the second time during our operational lifetime that the store closed for an extended period due to an emergency situation.

A: On August 17, 2016, we were informed that we had a problem in the basement of the Church.  We lost a great deal of inventory and supplies, however, we were able to save a lot of our equipment because of quick thinking.  The "problem" was that the basement flooded, basically destroying the Food Pantry, Thrift Store and other areas of the basement.  The Food Pantry was able to relocate to the fellowship hall during the clean-up and reconstruction,  (while the Thrift Store shut down for this period of time) which took at least 8 months to complete.  All spaces have been rebuilt, and we are back in a new, redesigned space.  Thanks go to TUMC Trustees, Staff, Volunteers, and all the contractors who helped us clean up and rebuild!

  Q: Where is Paul? (Audy)

A:  Paul has "retired" and has relocated to Concord, New Hampshire.  Paul has decided that it is "time for a change."  Paul stepped down as Executive Director of the Thrift Store on Saturday, April 1, 2017.  Paul appointed Brian S. Baker, Operations Manager, to replace him as Executive Director, and Brian served as Executive Director-Designate from about February to the end of March 2017.  TUMC officially "confirmed" Brian as Director on Sunday April 2, 2017.  He now serves as Director, and the dual role of Operations Manager.  We wish Paul all the best and thank him for his service to his Church, his Community, and for mentoring me, so that I can assume the duties of Director.

Q:  Who is running the Thrift Store Now?

A: Brian is Executive Director of the Thrift Store, and as such, has final authority and decision making powers.  He is assisted by William Sanderson, who is Store Manager.  Bill assists Brian with store functions and also deals with our Donations Department, making sure that the Big Yellow Barn is cleared.  He also assists Brian in Planning and Implementation of projects, such as Big Sales or Store Management and Operational Tasks.  TUMC oversees all ministries, and Brian meets regularly at their request with Trustees to give a report monthly.

Q: Where does the Money the Store Makes Go?

A: The Thrift Store was established in November, 2009. From November 2019 through December 2021, we made and had an agreement to split the money with the Church.  60% of the money raised by the Thrift Store goes to Trinity United Methodist Church's General Fund.  40% of the money raised by the Thrift Store goes to us at the Thrift Store.  Being a bona fide business (501c3) Non-Profit Organization, we still have to pay for things like Trash Removal, Telephone, Office and miscellaneous supplies and expenses - This 40% allows us to do this.

From January 2022 Forward, We will be focusing on our new mission, and while we will still be making money, the focus will continue to be on helping the people in the community, and less on revenue making exclusively.  To that end, a portion of the money raised will be designated to help the local community.

Q: When are you Open?

A: (Updated June 20, 2022):  For the Foreseeable Future, and until further notice, the Thrift Store will be open SATURDAYS ONLY from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.  Additional Hours will be considered at a later date, and we may add additional days for example if a special event is scheduled.

A: The Thrift Store's Regular Business Hours are:  Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 4 PM.  We are CLOSED on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and most major holidays.  If we have to close for any reason, we will be sure to inform the public by placing appropriate signage on the back door of the Church, as well as the Thrift Store's Entry Door.  We would also change the Phone Message to indicate closures.  One way to tell if we are closed would be if you do not see the Thrift Store's Sign out in front of the Church.

Q: I want to donate: How is this done?

A: UPDATED June 20, 2022):  The Red Donation "Bin/Barn" is CLOSED to new Donations at this time.  However, we will accept donations DURING BUSINESS HOURS ONLY for the time being, as we must sort through and deal with any donations that we have in or storage areas.  Please feel free to stop by and inquire as to what donations we will accept.

A:  The Thrift Store is now accepting donations.  We request that anyone wishing to donate clothing ONLY  drop these donations off in the Yellow Barn.  This can be done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  These items MUST be in good condition, and MUST be bagged.  Other Items should be dropped off during regular business hours.  Further Information on our Donation Policy is available here.

Q: I don't have much money....Can You Help?

A:  The Thrift Store DOES have two Programs that can assist you if the need arises.  One is called Ida's Closet, which provides customers and the community with FREE clothing for the taking.  You may take as much as you need, however, please be mindful of others needs.  If you need help, just ask - However, Before taking merchandise from the Thrift Store, you MUST make an attempt to find what you need in Ida's Closet FIRST. If you cannot find suitable attire, we will assist you in searching for what you are looking for.  Our Donations Department is very good about this.  If you still cannot find what you need, we can use our other Store-Based program called Safe Haven.  This program does have limits and rules that must be adhered to.  This program allows individuals to select an item that meets their needs, and is available for purchase in the Store, free of charge for qualifying individuals.  Please do NOT hesitate to ask a Staff Member about these Programs if you have any questions about them.

Q:  I need Money to Pay for......Can You Help?

A:  NO - The Thrift Store no longer provides assistance of this type. 

Q: Can I take an Item and "Work it Off?"

A: NO - the Thrift Store will no longer allow patrons to "work off" items taken in lieu of payment.  These has been a policy change that prohibits this.  We will give a qualifying individual items he/she needs for free, rather then to have a person work off this "debt." 

Q:  I missed the Food Pantry - Can you Help?

A: The short answer is NO -  You need to speak to the Food Pantry -  this would be ideal.  This is because of the fact that Thrift Store Staff and Volunteers do NOT have access to the Food Pantry, and are not authorized to open it and give anything to anyone after hours - The ONLY way that you could get food from the Pantry after hours would be to see a Food Pantry Volunteer, and ask them, or wait and speak to them when they are open. 

Q:  I need to see the Pastor........

A:  If you need to see the pastor, the best way to do this would be to stop in during regular office hours.  if He is there, He may be able to see you, and discuss your issue.  If he is NOT available to speak with you at the time, or is NOT in the office, or it is after published Office Hours, then the best way to reach the Pastor is to call the Church office and leave a message asking for him to contact you. 

Q:  How much do things cost?

A: (UPDATED June 20, 2022): The Thrift Store Now operates on a "Suggested Donation Pricing" Model, which means that clothing and accessories and jewelry items are based on a suggested range - This means that items can be anywhere from $1.00 for things such as undergarments and socks to anywhere from $2.00 to $3.00 for Pants and Shirts, to $5.00 and UP for Dresses and Shoes. Other Items are priced "as Marked".   People have been confused by the Myriad of signs that are posted throughout the store, so in an effort to eliminate this:

Price Lists are Now Located on the MAIN CHECKOUT DESK - The only OTHER Place that a price list is posted is above the Jewelry Station.  (Brian has also placed this lists online as well, so that we can add and change them as necessary - This saves on Time, Paper, Ink, and Toner Costs).  The two lists are enclosed in plastic, and are back to back, so customers can see the prices of clothing and jewelry on the desk.    Signs will be used to inform patrons of policies, rule changes, closures and important information that is necessary, or warns of dangerous conduct or cautions to customers that are visiting our store space.

A: Currently, all adult clothing is $5.00 each, unless otherwise marked. Children's clothing is $1.00 to $2.00. All other items (household, accessories, jewelry, shoes, books, etc.) are priced as marked. If you disagree with an item's Price, you should discuss it with us first.  

Q:  Who's Voice do I hear on the Trading Post?

A:  That would be Me, (Brian) and believe it or not, sometimes people confuse me with Mr. Audy, and think he is this voice.  He will tell you that "that is not me, that is Brian."  I have done the Advertising for the Thrift Store since it opened in 2009, and I also sometimes do other announcements on behalf of the Church.

Q:  Who's Voice do I hear when I call the Store?

A: Again, that would be Me.  When not open and with our answering system on, I am the voice that is speaking to you.  I have been told that in addition to having a good radio voice, that I have an "awesome telephone voice."  Each time I have to make changes to our message, I think I get better at it.

Q:  I Would Like to Volunteer to Help In The Store?  What Do I Do?

A:  If you would like to volunteer for the Thrift Store, all you need to do is either send us an email with your request, or Give us a Call and let us know of your interest!  The BEST way to volunteer would be to stop down to see us in the Thrift Store.  Brian will take your Name, E-Mail Address, Phone Number, and Days and Times you are available.  Brian is in the process of assessing how we will get the word out as to the need of volunteers, and will be advertising this need on local media outlets, so PLEASE Stay Tuned.  Brian will eventually construct a mailing list, so that he can alert volunteers of available shifts.

Q: I Left You a Facebook/E-Mail/Phone Message:  Did you get it?/When will you Respond?

A:  In addition to the "brick and mortar" setup of the Thrift Store, the Store has many ways that it communicates information:  These ways could be, but are NOT limited to:  Telephone Messages left at our Store Number, Voice and or Text Messages Left on Brian's Cell Phone,  E-Mail, Facebook & Facebook Messenger, Placing Advertising in Local Newspapers, Local Radio and TV Stations, or Online, such as our Website, Facebook Page, or Other online outlets such as Front Porch Forum.  We also have had The Church Office relay messages when necessary.

The Thrift Store will endeavor to respond to all messages, but sometimes, the messages may be garbled, or unintelligible, or otherwise unable to be heard CLEARLY, and as such, are more often then not, DELETED, because we need to be able to hear the message correctly to respond to it properly.  Please go to Thrift Store Message Return Policy to see our Message Return Policy for information on How we will deal with each type of message, as well as the Time it will take to respond to Messages.