Upscale clothing, household goods and more for a cause.
- 201 Second Ave. Suite 201 (Marketplace Shopping Center) Map it
- Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm, Closed on Sunday
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A New Store With A Mission
Buying second-hand has many advantages: it reduces our environmental impact, saves us hundreds of dollars, and allows us to create our own vintage-style unique look. Searching for treasures and bargains is fun! And a joyful pastime.
The non-profit Worthwhile Wear will open their latest Worthwhile Thrift store at the end of February in the former Sears store in the Collegeville Marketplace (Redner’s) Shopping Center (map it). They have taken the entire 26,000 square feet of space for their retail operations, back area processing and administrative offices. Worthwhile Wear operates a similar store on Easton Road in Plumsteadville, PA.
“Our (Collegeville) store will have an upscale branded look and appeal,” says Executive Director Dan Emr. “The location will offer great clothing—we specialize in higher-end clothing—shoes, accessories, books, media, housewares, décor, antiques, electronics, and vintage items as well as furniture.”
NOTE: Photos are from the Plumsteadville store as the Collegeville store was still being outfitted as we published.
Worthwhile Wear is more than a thrift Store. It is a mission.
Proceeds from Worthwhile Thrift stores serve as additional financial support for Worthwhile Wear’s restorative programs, which offer outreach, long-term housing, and employment to survivors of human trafficking.
Over the past 10 years Worthwhile Wear has developed a comprehensive model to assist women in the Philadelphia area who have been exploited through sexual trauma and made to feel worthless. The program connects with over 70 service providers, the FBI and the District Attorney’s Office to identify at-risk individuals 18 and older, and those who are LGB and/or transgender.
The trauma experienced by trafficking survivors is significant; it often leads to addiction and homelessness. Worthwhile Wear is there to provide resources to the survivor wherever she is in her journey.
Women who have experienced sexual trauma from exploitation, trafficking or prostitution first benefit from an empowerment program called “Worth It.” This nine-week program provides a series of classroom experiences to help participants connect with area service providers, maintain sobriety, and ultimately break the cycle of exploitation. When the individuals graduate, they can apply to Worthwhile Wear’s housing program called “The Well.”
“The Well” serves as a community for women in recovery from severe trauma. It provides sanctuary along with an array of support services and educational opportunities. “The Well’s” residential program provides long-term secure housing as a haven from social, psychological and economic factors. Services are provided free of charge and are aimed at developing a foundation of recovery and stability, leading to independent and healthy lives.
“The Well” safe house is located on 82 acres within Bucks County, PA that is zoned for residential group homes. The house was completely renovated during the summer of 2014, largely through the efforts of volunteers who provided both labor and materials.
Working Toward Independence
The women then move toward financial independence, beginning with vocational training and employment at Worthwhile Thrift. The job skills they learn there help them both earn an income, and make them less vulnerable to be trafficked again.
Their Worthwhile Thrift job experience also acts as a launching pad. Once the individuals have enough experience, the program encourages them to apply for jobs offering better benefits and pay. “Many times, the women graduate with over $10,000 in savings, which is significant,” Dan says. “They also leave with a strong foundation and connections in the community.”
You Can Make A Difference
“Our programs are only possible because of our partnerships in our community.” Dan explains. “(And) donating and shopping (at Worthwhile Thrift) truly makes a difference!”
In addition to income from Worthwhile Thrift store sales, the non-profit’s programs receive funding from individuals, businesses, and churches, along with grants from foundations and Bucks county. The community clearly recognizes and supports the good that Worthwhile Thrift does: on April 17, Worthwhile Wear and its programs will celebrate 10 years of operation.
Donations of clothing and household items will begin to be accepted at the end of February at the building’s side door (the back parking lot). Watch for information on the Worthwhile Wear website Facebook pages Worthwhile Wear and Worthwhile Thrift or Instagram.
Employment and Volunteering