Goodwill Hunting: Our Kind of Club

We’re college students– and money doesn’t grow on trees. This used to mean cutting down on your clothing purchases, but no more! There are tons of fun, stylish and cheap treasures waiting to be found at thrift stores. Each week, Daphne Weidner will take you on a thrifty journey to prove that being tight on money does not mean sacrificing style. Let’s get thrifty.

It’s no secret that thrift stores are packed with weird, fantastically fun clothing and accessories. Although walking into one and browsing the awesome treasures is certainly reason enough to make the trip, there are other reasons to feel good when you buy something from a thrift store. Especially the State College Woman’s Club Thrift Shop.

This shop, located at 902 South Allen Street and open on Thursdays from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, holds some of the coolest clothing and jewelry that I’ve ever seen at a thrift store. One huge plus of this shop: “We select only clean, smooth clothing,” says Shirley Stump, manager of the store. Now, I’m pretty familiar with the slightly musty, obviously-used smell of the clothing from some thrift stores. Although it’s of course super easy to wash it out, wouldn’t it be nice to buy something that’s already clean and wrinkle-free?

Although the cleanliness is great, that’s not the best aspect about this shop. The Woman’s Club has done amazing things for this community through their thrift shop proceeds, which go to about 15 local charities. The charities include the Women’s Resource Center, Millbrook Marsh and Park Forest Day Nursery. They have also helped open our first public library and created a scholarship for Penn State. The shop is able to accomplish so much because of the women who
dedicate their time and effort to managing the shop. “These women have done wonderful thing throughout the years,” says Stump, who has been working with the thrift shop for 16 years. “I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Almost as cool as the store itself is the thrift store’s history. In the 1940’s during World War II, about ten women from the club took some extra clothes they had laying around and decided to see if anyone needed them. Just like that, the State College Woman’s Club Thrift Shop was born. The shop kept growing as more and more women got involved, and it has evolved into an organization that has made incredible contributions to our town. “I like what I do. It’s the satisfaction of being able to give back,” says Stump.

Photo by Fuli Wang

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