St. Andrew’s Thrift Shop: Great Deals for Great Causes


By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter

If you’ve driven down 4th Street in Dexter, you may have noticed a small, unassuming sandwich board reading “The Thrift Shop” outside St. Andrews United Church of Christ. As modest as the little store may seem in size and appearance, its impact on local charities is notable.

“We started small last fall, and it has really built up since then,” says church member Thelma Bertonaschi. “We now have repeat customers every week. Some of us are becoming more like family.”

Thelma explained that the Thrift Shop’s genesis sprung from the void left by St. Andrew’s rummage sales paused for the pandemic. Thelma remembered the thrift shops that she and her husband saw when wintering down south. She presented the idea to the church, and the seed was planted.

St. Andrew’s saw this as a great way to offer affordable items and raise money for local charities. The church gathered an initial inventory and opened its Thrift Shop last October. It began in one room in the basement and has since spread to three.

Elaine Milbocker was tending the shop last Saturday and said local charities supported by the proceeds include the holiday Shop with a Cop, Goodwill, and Dexter Senior Center. The funds are used for local causes, with one recent exception. They sent funds to help the Ukrainians who had lost their possessions or been displaced by the war.

“We used money raised here to help the six veteran families moving into Hilltop View Apartments,” says Elaine. “Usually, we send the organizations money from our sales because that’s what people have donated their items for. We recently made one exception by sending a big tub of toys to children living in an orphanage.”

The St. Andrew’s Thrift Shop is open Wednesdays from 1-4 and Saturdays from 9-12.

Photo credits: Doug Marrin

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