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Success Story: Community Against Violence (CAV) Thrift Store

Supporting community good

By Cindy Brown
Posted 12/31/69

Thrift shopping that also benefits the community in many ways. On any given afternoon, the store will be hopping – accepting donations and helping customers find excellent deals. Community …

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Success Story: Community Against Violence (CAV) Thrift Store

Supporting community good

Posted

Thrift shopping that also benefits the community in many ways. On any given afternoon, the store will be hopping – accepting donations and helping customers find excellent deals. Community members bring in clothing, household items, furniture and other gently used items to be sorted and added to the store inventory.

Customers say that they love shopping at CAV’s Thrift Store because every day there are new deals and items to find, keeping the experience fun and exciting. The shelves and racks are full of glassware, dishes and other household items, jewelry, and clothing, with a whole room of books to browse.

Community benefit

In addition to offering an affordable shopping experience, the thrift store generates income to support the work CAV does in preventing violence and assisting those who are survivors of domestic and sexual violence and child abuse. When there is a gap in funding, the revenues from the thrift store can be used along with other fundraising to help continue services.

For example, if the funding for children’s therapy is cut, CAV can continue to pay therapists to provide counseling. “That’s why it’s so essential that we have a productive, well-run thrift store. These funds help keep the services steady, even when we’ve lost grant sources during economic downturns,” says executive director Malinda Williams.

In order to continue to provide a high level of service, CAV plans year-round events to raise funds, in addition to its annual radiothon held each fall. “We have to raise matching funds within our community, and we are so fortunate that the community supports us in this effort. CAV programs belong to the whole community. The organization serves approximately 820 people a year with direct services – a number that is increasing a little each year,” says Williams.

Gift certificates & Cows Against Violence

CAV gives out over $27,000 annually in gift certificates to the community with the bulk of it going to survivors of domestic and sexual violence and child abuse. CAV also provides emergency gift certificates to help individuals and families whose houses have been lost to fire or flood and to other support agencies in the community whose clients are in need.

Gift certificates are also for sale and make great gifts for family and friends. Shoppers might find trinkets, brand-new hats, clothing that still has price tags on it and truly priceless items like the turquoise necklace with matching earrings that one of the customers was buying as a gift for her mother.

The thrift store is also home to the original “Cows Against Violence” entertaining merchandise. The unique design is found on T-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps, beanies, mugs and more!

Recycling & decluttering

Shopping at the thrift store also helps keep items out of the landfill. Your donations might have continued use with someone else and things that don’t sell at the store are sold to another nonprofit that salvages and reuses the material. This also provides another stream of income to CAV.

When asked about how the community can support CAV, Williams invites people to donate their gently used or new items that they no longer need and come shop. “Bring your family. It’s a fun place to find all kinds of treasures. The thrift store is also a great place to find supplies for crafting and project. Our staff members are friendly, dedicated and work hard to help you find special items,” says Williams. “If you are going to shop, why not spend your money somewhere that is providing a great community service?”

Coming soon

As CAV thinks about the future, the organization is planning to expand its hours and accept donations every day of the week. Call (575) 751-4824 to find out more about the new hours.

Volunteers form an important part of the thrift store staffing, and there are spots available for more volunteers. Many tasks are taken on by volunteers, including sorting through donations, keeping the store organized and creating special displays. SSome, like longtime volunteer Denice Weinberg, choose a specialty like sorting through book donations and organizing the book room. Asked why she has volunteered for over six years at CAV’s thrift store, Weinberg answers, “Because we have the most generous donors and the store needs a lot of help to sort items and get them out on the sales floor. And CAV provides so many programs out in the community to help people – far more than just the shelter.”

For more information: Thrift store The CAV Thrift Store is located at 1103 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos. Current hours are Monday-Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They accept items in good condition (not bigger appliances, older model TVs, printers or FAX machines). Visit taosCAV.org to find out more. CAV services Community Against Violence offers free confidential support and assistance for adult and child survivors of sexual and domestic violence and stalking; community- and school-based violence prevention programs; re-education BIP groups for domestic violence offenders; counseling; shelter; transitional housing; and the community thrift store. To talk with someone or get information on services, call CAV’s 24-hour crisis line at (575) 758-9888 or visit TaosCAV.org.

History The current CAV Thrift Store grew from generous donations of clothing and household items from the community to the survivors of domestic and sexual violence who sought CAV’s help. In 1997, the first bricks-and-mortar store opened in the original Cid’s Grocery building, moving several times as it grew. CAV the current Thrift Store in February 2010. Stay tuned to learn more about the future evolution of the store!

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