Come to Top of the Hill’s Great Room this Saturday night to enjoy some great jazz and blues (Equinox), eat some yummy food (hors d’oeuvres), have fun with a terrific MC (Ron Stutts), and support a great cause — the PTA Thrift Shop’s capital campaign.  It’s the PTA Thrift Shop’s Birthday Bash.  Yes, the PTA Thrift Shop has been providing a steady – and substantial – stream of revenue for our public schools for 60 years.

In the past five years, the Thrift Shop has earned a total of $1.3 million for our schools, including $265,000 in 2011.

Not only does the Thrift Shop support our schools, but it’s our community’s number one example of the “reuse” part of the “reuse, recycle, reduce” mantra of sustainable living.  Also, the Thrift Shop has provided our community with a very economical alternative for purchasing clothing, furniture, books, and household goods during this prolonged economic downturn.  

In fact, our community has needed the Thrift Shop so much that its physical space is bursting at the seams.  That’s good news because it means the Thrift Shop’s giving potential is even greater.  All it needs is more space.  

So the Thrift Shop announced plans in June to re-build new facilities and additional commercial space at its Carrboro location.  It launched a $1.7 million community fundraising campaign to support the project. Proceeds from Saturday night’s Birthday Bash will help get our community closer to this goal.

But I bet when you read the last paragraph you were kind of stumped to read that the Thrift Shop is building “additional commercial space.”  Why not build just the space needed to sell more stuff?  Good question.  

The Thrift Shop will be building 14,000 square feet to serve the Thrift Shop’s combined needs for retail, processing, and administrative space.  But it also will be building 13,000 additional square feet to lease out for increased revenues.  “Whoa,” you are thinking, “Is that such a good idea in this economy?”  Well, as a matter of fact, it is.

The Thrift Shop already has leased almost two-thirds of the space (8,000 square feet) to the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools for its Pre-K and Head Start administrative offices, as well as professional development programs.  And don’t worry about the remaining 5,000 square feet – the Thrift Shop has been contacted by a lot of organizations and businesses that are interested in renting.  Now the Thrift Shop is in the fortunate position of being able to look at the list of interested organizations and, in the words of the Thrift Shop’s executive director, Barbara Jessie-Black, consider what mix of renters would “provide a synergy that would benefit all the organizations in the space.”

Sounds like the Thrift Shop’s expansion plans are off to a solid start.  So join our community at Top of the Hill this Saturday night to support the Thrift Shop’s future and celebrate its past.