Story and photos by Paul Boerger
Mount Shasta resident Sandy Patterson founded the non-profit New2You thrift store three years ago and promised it would be more than a place for bargains on used goods. Patterson dreamed of putting back the excess money from the store to worthy causes, and in three years, the small storefront has given out $89,000 to three community organizations.
“The money went to the senior Meals on Wheels program that brings food to senior shut-ins, Mercy Hospice and the Jefferson Economic Development Institute ( JEDI) that offers low-cost and free business education and assistance,” Patterson says. “We donated to the people who really needed help. Non-profits like us usually help only one issue.”
Patterson said the three recipients were more than worthy of assistance.
“JEDI helped me out setting up our non-profit 501(c)3 status. JEDI used the money for the business start-up savings program, where the client saves two-thirds and JEDI provides the other third,” Patterson says. “Meals on Wheels really needed help. They were being cut. We helped get them into the black. They were able to hire another driver.”
The Mercy Hospice donation was much more than a friendly donation.
“Hospice was a wonderful help for my son who passed away. They were incredible,” Patterson says. “The money went for equipment and caregivers so someone would not die alone.”
Patterson is no stranger to thrift stores that are dedicated to helping the community. She was instrumental in starting the Siskiyou Humane Society Paws and Shop thrift store 14 years ago and then the Spay Neuter Incentive Program, or SNIP, thrift store in Mount Shasta that offers free spay and neutering for dogs and cats.
“I worked for nothing,” Patterson says. “I figured with the animals taken care of, I wanted to help people. The economy had gone down and we wanted to give people reasonably priced goods and help the community.”
New2You also has a program that assists the homeless. It started with a jar on the counter into which patrons could drop money.
“We offer the homeless an opportunity for a shower at the store or the local campground and
clean clothes for work at the store,” Patterson says. “They don’t get something for nothing. It makes them feel like they are worth something.”
Work includes straightening up the store, shoveling snow, raking, washing windows and pruning trees. She said a homeless man stayed overnight in the parking lot to guard the weekend rummage sale items that were left outside.
“They do an incredible job. They care about the place,” Patterson says. “It’s wonderful to get the help. They are so grateful to be clean.”
Patterson noted that several homeless people became volunteers at the store. One went on to get work and an apartment, and another went on to attend College of the Siskiyous.
Patterson says the volunteers who assist New2You are the “store’s heart.” Some of the volunteers have been with her for 14 years, since the Humane Society.
“We wouldn’t be here without them,” Patterson says. “We can always use more volunteers.”
Patterson shows her gratitude for the volunteers with a special thanks each month.
“Every month, each volunteer gets $20 and we all go out as a group to an activity or a restaurant. It shows our appreciation for our volunteers and supports local businesses,” Patterson says.
Sales at the store include half-off books on Tuesday, 25 percent off for seniors on Wednesday, 25 percent off electronics on Thursday, Friday offers 50 percent off bedding, Saturday has $3-a-bag clothing and the first Friday of the month features Let’s Make a Deal, where few offers are refused.
Quality donations, of course, are always accepted.