St. Mary’s Thrift Shop


The PennyWise Thrift shop has operated for over 25 years to raise funds for St. Mary’s Church and its community outreach programs through the resale of donated items such as clothing, home furnishings, jewelry and small appliances. At the beginning it operated in space rented in a strip mall, but when the present church building was built (with a large amount of support provided by PennyWise) the original church building was converted for use as sales space for PennyWise.

PennyWise is governed by a board of directors and reports to the Vestry through a liaison.  PennyWise is open 12 months a year. Its hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10-3. Each day is overseen by a volunteer manager who assumes overall responsibility for the activities that day. Generally, there are 2-6 other volunteers each day including cashiers, inventory preparers and sales personnel. All of the PennyWise staff strive to make the shopping experience pleasant and fun for all our customers.

Donations are accepted at any time, but preferably during business hours. Volunteers sort donations, accepting most but sending some that we cannot sell to numerous other nonprofit organizations such as St. Mathew’s House, All Souls Episcopal Church Thrift Store, Habitat Resale and Goodwill. All goods are priced to achieve marketability and value for the customers.

For the past 5 years PennyWise has earned between $80-120,000 per year in cash and credit sales. After a small amount each year is retained for reserves against emergencies, the remaining annual profits are presented to St Mary’s Church. The church uses half of the PennyWise donation for operations, and the St. Mary’s Outreach Commission distributes the other half to local nonprofit service organizations and special appeals such as hurricane relief.

PennyWise is always looking for more volunteers. Its volunteers include members and friends of St. Mary’s Church. We have seasonal and year-round volunteers. If you can spare a couple hours (or more) per week we would love to have you join us. Pam Stamper is our volunteer coordinator; telephone her Tuesday or Friday at 239-947-3363.