"Don't Shop, Adopt" is a popular motto in animal shelters and rescues that encourages people to adopt pets from shelters rather than purchase pets from high-priced pet stores who may obtain their inventory from disreputable breeders. But when it comes to helping homeless pets in our community, I encourage you to adopt OR shop - specifically at two local places: The SPCA Thrift Shops.
If you're a thrift shop enthusiast, you already know that these deeply discounted stores have everything you need or want for your home: furniture, light fixtures, china, pillows, rugs, appliances, tools, wall art, lots of decorative accessories and knick-knacks, plus clothes, shoes, jewelry, baby items and more.
You can find the same unique items and great prices in the SPCA Albrecht Center's two Aiken Thrift Shops. What makes these stores different though, is that the revenue they generate funds efforts to care for the animals in the SPCA shelter while they await adoption into loving, forever homes.
The SPCA Thrift Shops are managed by Michelle Floyd, Operations Manager. Michelle works with store managers Jennifer McBride, John Sanders and Wanda Gibson each day to ensure the stores are well stocked with fresh inventory and that they're clean and running efficiently. And if you're wondering where all of the inventory comes from, look to your friends and neighbors. Every item for sale in the SPCA Thrift Shops was donated by a generous citizen.
With spring just around the corner, perhaps you're considering a yard sale or just getting rid of some items to declutter your home? The SPCA's Thrift Shops are more than happy to take those items off your hands and turn them into funding to help homeless pets. You can bring donations to either store during business hours and you'll be provided with a donation tax receipt.
If you have large items, like furniture, or just too many items to bring at once, don't worry - the SPCA offers free pick up! Just call 803-648-6863 to schedule a date and time convenient for you. Pickups are scheduled Monday - Friday during normal business hours.
Don't have anything to donate but want to help? Volunteer! Retail experience is helpful, but not required. If you can contribute any amount of time in the thrift shops, even if it's just an hour or two per week, the managers can use your help. Call Jessica, Volunteer Coordinator at 803-648-6863, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit LetLoveLive.org/volunteer for more information and to sign up.
In the meantime, I recommend visiting the SPCA Thrift Shops to find affordable alternatives to expensive home decor and more. Maybe you'll even find an antique! You'll certainly find something you wouldn't find anywhere else, and you can leave smiling, knowing a tail will be wagging thanks to your generosity.
SPCA Thrift Shops are located downtown at 404 Richland Avenue East and in Mitchell Shopping Center at 1557 Whiskey Road. Both stores are open Monday - Saturday from 10:00am until 5:00pm. See more information at www.LetLoveLive.org/thrift-shops and follow the SPCA Albrecht Center on Facebook for sale announcements.
Sarah Neikam is the Communications & Marketing Director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the SPCA since 2012. Sarah lives in Graniteville with her family which includes three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady, who are all living happy, loved lives thanks to the efforts of the SPCA.