Delaware’s coastal towns are chockablock with thrift shops and antique stores in more ways than one and let’s get one thing clear. Thrift shops typically are affiliated with a cause or charity, and they offer some incredible prices since inventory is donated.
Sadly, the Beebe Hospital Auxiliary closed the doors of its “Treasure Chest” thrift shop on Coastal Highway. The last shopping day was April 30. There was little explanation as to why it closed.
There are still multiple shops from which to choose if you are looking for anything from kitchenware to clothing.
The American Veterans Thrift Store has a couple of locations – one on Tenley Court in Lewes (near Matt’s Fish Camp) and one on John Hudson Highway (RT 24) in Rehoboth (across from the Delaware Eye Institute). According to its mission statement, “American Veterans Thrift Stores monthly gift will be given to the Home of the Brave Foundation (HOB), a transitional housing program for honorably discharged, homeless U.S. Veterans. HOB has a male and female program based in Milford, DE.
The shops also support the Warrior Weekend program designed to provide a weekend of rest, relaxation and fun for injured military and their families who are recovering from injuries sustained while on duty from the beginning of the Iraq War to the present. The program started in 2007.
Habitat for Humanity is a well-known brand thanks, in part, to Former President Jimmy Carter. The ReUse store on Route 9 has likely stocked plenty of start-up condos in the Coastal towns. It focuses primarily on furniture but also carries tools and hardware, paint brushes, electronics, kitchen cabinets, appliances and even toilets.
ReUse offers seniors 62 and over a 15 percent discount on most items and a 15 percent discount every day for the military. ReUse implements a timetable for discounts on items meaning the longer an item is in its inventory the more it is discounted.
The organization will pick up free large items. ReUse has a small staff and depends on about 46 volunteers who log hundreds of hours doing everything from maintaining the show room to picking up items for sale, according to Director Cathy Basenese.
Its website spells out its purpose: “The ReStore is our solution for turning these donations, from generous and environmentally concerned individuals and businesses, into money to build homes for families”. Families who benefit from the houses are asked to pitch in as well. “I tell them it’s not a hand-out, it’s a hand a hand UP”, says Basenese. The proceeds remain in Sussex County and help fund the construction of homes for qualified families.
New Life Thrift Shop is perched behind the Jiffy Lube on Coastal Highway. Comparing thrift shops, the two-building shop has one of the best clothing departments in the area. It also has an extensive Christmas department packed with wreaths, ornaments, figurines and more.
The complex is part of the Ministry of the Lewes-Rehoboth Association of Congregations. Proceeds fund numerous community organizations and charities in the area including the Cape Henlopen Food Basket, the Lewes Volunteer Fire Department, St Vincent De Paul, in Lewes, and Rehoboth plus more than 15 churches in the area.
Like more thrift shops, New Life is always seeking volunteers and they pride themselves on their current crew. “I make it clear, there is no riff raff, no politics”, says manager Andrea Caswell. “We’re here for a reason”. Caswell, She makes up a monthly calendar with multiple sales days. (SPECIAL NOTE: Thursday is Seniors Day.)
Check the shop websites for details on donations and shopping hours. Other popular shops in the area are God’s Way (closest location is on Coastal Highway/Rehoboth, Unfinished Business (also off Coastal Highway in Rehoboth, and All Saints near Dewey.
By Mary Jo Tarallo, Guest Journalist
Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry as a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Oprah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland and Towson University, lived in Washington, DC for 21 years and has been a full time resident of Rehoboth Beach and Milton since May 2019.