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Back in business: Catasauqua thrift shop reopens after winter closing

On a street lined with some-open, some-closed businesses, the small “Thrift Shop - Open Now” placard was a welcome sign of a community coming back to life on Bridge Street in Catasauqua.

Catasauqua Community Thrift Shop reopened April 5 with little fanfare, yet likely a sigh of relief from residents and devotees of this cornerstone of community support.

Working hand in hand with Catasauqua Community Food Bank, this little shop helps provide a safety net for people in need. Residents affected by COVID-19 may find it helpful to shop its low-priced items that range from children’s to adult clothing, games, toys and household items. In addition, victims of house fires can get vouchers from area churches to pick up much-needed items at the store.

“Everything we make (profit wise) is all donated back into the community,” said Betty Rabenold, one of the three volunteers who were manning the front desk of the store.

“We’ve been closed since last December because of COVID-19,” she said, mentioning they had opened for a bit in the fall but closed again in winter.

“All the winter things we had left were donated to a church in Philly,” she said. “We had the whole upstairs filled with summer things, so we knew there was no problem with them, so we brought them down for today for our first day since December (2020).”

“We’re all older volunteers,” she continued, “so we couldn’t really open before (now) because the volunteers didn’t really want to come in. We used to have two shifts between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., but now we’re only open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“A lot of our customers are regulars, and they miss us - and we miss them,” she said.

Rabenold said they had a very good opening day and got a lot of donations in the morning, which were put away before noon. The shop is neat, organized and well lit, with displays put together with care and artistry.

Things sell for little cost. Children’s clothes are 50 cents to $1. Adult clothing is $2 each for pants and tops, but if an item comes in with original tags for donation, the price is $3.

The store is a great resource for families struggling to make ends meet or for anyone who enjoys shopping for a bargain.

Not into shopping? Consider donating to this community shop.

PRESS PHOTO BY M.J. KORSAK Betty Rabenold, Paula Griffin and Martha Capwell, all volunteers with Catasauqua Community Thrift Shop, keep busy accepting donations, checking out customers and organizing. The shop, located at 113 Bridge St., reopened April 5 after being closed for a few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A shopper comes in to look through the aisles of clothes at Catasauqua Community Thrift Shop, 113 Bridge St.
PRESS PHOTOS BY M.J. KORSAK The shop has a variety of clothes, shoes, hats and more. The store reopened April 5.
A section of the store has toys and more.