Human InterestThe Examiner

Church Thrift Shop Makes Impact, Donates $50G to Non-Profit Groups

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Representatives of the seven Westchester non-profit organizations that recently shared $50,000 in donations from Treasures Thrift Shop in Armonk.

Chances are many of the shoppers who come to the Treasures Thrift Shop at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Armonk are looking for smart-looking clothing or gifts for relatives or friends at bargain prices.

But every year their purchases help a variety of Westchester-based nonprofit organizations in their mission to improve life for those in the communities that they serve.

On June 22, St. Stephen’s distributed $50,000 to seven organizations that depend to a large extent on donations and support from the public to fulfill their mission.

“We like to connect the community, we like to do the good that we talk about at services,” said Lena Cavanna, a St. Stephen’s parishioner and a member of the Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry board, one of the organizations that received a share. “We want to be able to extend that help, we want to be able to touch people, we want to be able to share.”

The other organizations that received a Treasures donation were the Emergency Shelter Partnership which provides short-term shelter on an nightly basis from November to April; Hope’s Door, an outfit that assists domestic violence victims; Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, a program that helps inmates at seven prisons throughout the state, including Sing Sing, earn a two-year associates degree; Hudson Valley Honor Flight, which transports area veterans to visit memorials in Washington four times a year; Neighbors Link, the Mount Kisco-based organization that helps integrate new immigrants into the community; and ReSet, which helps to re-settle refugees.

For the organizations that received the assistance, the generosity of St. Stephen’s and the legion of volunteers who run the thrift shop is always a welcome and often much-needed addition to their annual budget.

JoAnne Hochstein, president of the Emergency Shelter Partnership, which is supported by 18 houses of worship and their congregants in Bedford, Ossining, Armonk, Chappaqua, Briarcliff Manor, Mount Kisco and Croton-on-Hudson, said the program provides a warm place to sleep, a hot meal when they come in for the evening at about 8:30 p.m. and a grab-and-go breakfast for the morning. There’s also a place to shower about once a week.

The program was started by several area clergy members after two men were found dead in a field in 2004. Hochstein said they are looking to extend their outreach to a full six months, from mid-October to mid-April.

“The need is so much greater, and we’re really not sure what’s going to happen with some of the asylum seekers in the area,” Hochstein said.

For the Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry, there are now more than 600 distributions a week on average, a number that has surpassed the levels of need during the height of the pandemic, said Trina Fontaine, the pantry’s executive director. The extra money will undoubtedly come in handy.

“It’s historical highs, absolutely,” she said. “So we’re doing the best that we can in meeting that increased need with the increased cost of food.”

Treasures Co-manager Sharon Stern, who operates the store with fellow Co-manager Lauren Thompson, said they were able to provide $50,000 to the organizations even though they are staffed by volunteers and are open only nine hours a week – Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Merchandise is donated by local community members, with all of it quality items, she said.

Despite having to be closed during the onset of the pandemic, they have taken to social media to spread the word about the great buys and also the need for donations of merchandise.

“So the breadth of the people who know about the store has increased,” Stern said. “Even though some of us don’t live in this area, we often get friends and family to donate, and it’s good for all of us to do a little cleaning of our own, so the donations are very important because everything that we sell is donated by somebody else.”

For more information about Treasures Thrift Shop, visit or check them out on Facebook or Instagram. Treasures is located within St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at 50 Bedford Rd. in Armonk.

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