The Highland-based One More Time thrift store takes a page out of the Olive Garden’s book: when you’re here, you’re family. With a personable staff along with shelves upon shelves of items, there is no way you will leave empty handed and without a new friend.
“Many of us have been here for so many years, we always say we are like a thrift shop family with our camaraderie,” the head of the thrift store Susan Mercier boasted.
Part of the St. Augustine Church, One More Time began over 20 years ago when the parishioner saw a need in the community. Starting up as a little shop in the bay of the church’s garage, the shop eventually expanded into the church’s basement.
In the fall of 2017, however, a major flood caused One More Time to close down. Thankfully, in February of 2018, the thrift store rose from the ashes and reopened in the church’s school building at 35 Phillips Ave.—just one block away from St. Augustine’s—where it currently resides.
With a new sale every week, One More Time thrift store lines its close quarters with shoes, kitchenware, linens, clothes for toddlers, purses, toys and board games, knick-knacks, and much more.
“We are really blessed that we are so accepted by the community and that we have a high amount of donations,” Mercier claimed.
In fact, the exceedingly high volume of donations can be considered a blessing and a curse for the workers at One More Time. Due to its small space for sorting, the thrift store cannot manage to sort through overflowing donation bins over the course of a few hours.
One More Time thrift store would like to remind their patrons to bring only a couple of bags or boxes at a time—rather than a truck load—and to drop off their donations during their business hours.
On the flip side, their surplus of donations has spurred countless opportunities for the community. One of the thrift shop’s volunteers, Patti Ogden, explained that in the case of a house fire, the thrift shop welcomes survivors with open arms.
“If they need clothing, dishes, whatever we have and whatever they need, we are willing to give,” Ogden claimed. Ogden also recalled times where they have supplied elementary school children with winter coats and warmer clothes when needed.
One More Time thrift store is run solely by volunteers, and all of their proceeds go towards the support of St. Augustine’s and its ministries.
“We are helping our church, our community, people in need, but anyone can come here and shop,” Mercier said. “We have wonderful prices and we hope that the whole community can benefit from our work.”
In response to what makes their thrift store stand out, Ogden answered with a sly smirk: “I’ll tell you what the people say. They come in here and go ‘look at how clean, neat, organized and well-lit it is in here!’”
Browsing and shopping in One More Time thrift store means you are more than just a customer. The volunteers testify to developing friendships with many of the regulars, even being gifted with baked goods and candy for their kindness.
“We had a couple who had in-laws that came from Egypt every year. The mother-in-law used to come with an extra suitcase so she could buy stuff and bring it back all the way to Egypt,” Ogden exclaimed. “You get to know these people, they become regulars and they become our friends.”
As of Wednesday, July 17, One More Time is excited to announce that they will also be open on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., so shoppers can stop in and browse after their work day.
But to keep the close-knit community and unbeatable prices alive, One More Time thrift store requires more volunteers.
“If we could get more volunteers to work behind the scenes as well as behind the counters, then we could probably open more often or longer, but we just don’t have it. You don’t have to be Catholic to work here, we have Non-Catholics and non-practicing Catholics that work here,” Ogden said.
The shop continues to accept donations of children clothing, adult clothing, shoes, toys and accessories. One More Time asks that all clothing be clean and in good condition. Car seats, cribs, large furniture items and computer equipment are not accepted. Deposit donations in the bins on the Phillips Avenue side of the school building adjacent to the main entrance.
To become part of the One More Time family, visit the thrift store during their open hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays at 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.