The Thrift Shop of Pass-A-Grille Beach Community Church opened its season on September 6, celebrating 58 years of service to the community. Shoppers filled the store, adjacent to the church at 17th Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way, searching for bargains among the racks and tables of clothing, collectibles, jewelry, housewares, fine china, books, art and much more.
The shop’s energetic team of volunteers, “The Girls,” many of whom have been involved for decades, took donations and helped shoppers search for the perfect items. The Girls spent the summer pricing new and used quality items to get ready for the big September opening.
“We started the shop by taking donations of clothes to help people in the community,” said Carol Sigmund, who began volunteering at the store while still a snowbird 23 years ago. “We got so many donations, the church added to the building over the years to accommodate everything.”
Barbara Spate has volunteered at the shop since 1958. “We started in the church in one room upstairs,” she said. “People had to climb the stairs, and if we made $25 in a day, we were thrilled.”
Everything in the shop is donated, mostly by individuals and, occasionally, small businesses. Proceeds from sales support local charities, such as Clothes for Kids, Pinellas Hope, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, PARC and church missions, and make a big impact on the community.
“We raise approximately $45,000 to $50,000 each year,” said Sigmund. “All proceeds are turned over to Women’s Fellowship and they donate to the different charities we support.”
Today, the shop has become a destination location for locals and tourists alike, looking for unique, affordable items.
Jean Sheppard, visiting from England, said, “I told my husband I must go to the thrift store when they open in September.”
Each week brings a new special, and the shop features a themed display for each holiday, particularly at Christmas with a large selection of holiday items from which to choose.
The Pass-A-Grille Thrift Shop is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, September through May.