Teamwork proves key in thrift store success
Three Thayer student organizations — OMEGA, TA Sustainability, and QUEST — teamed up just before Thanksgiving to set up and then run the Thayer Thrift Store. Their collaborative efforts raised more than $1,000 for The Trevor Project, a nonprofit that supports young LGBTQ+ people with a focus on mental health.
Students leading the thrift store efforts were: Calvin Cigna ‘24, president of QUEST; Sadie Smith ‘24, co-president of TA Sustainability; and Rebecca Rudolph ‘24, OMEGA’s community outreach coordinator and also a co-president of TA Sustainability.
“It was amazing,” said Rudolph. “Collaborating with other student-led groups was so much fun. We each had to take shifts sorting the clothes, setting up the thrift store, and actually running it. I think the really cool part was that because there were so many people helping, that meant there were more ideas.”
Smith said she felt as if every member of the school had stopped by the thrift store at some point and applauded the idea of Thayer students engaged in learning about sustainable fashion.
“It just feels like a win-win all around,” Smith said. “People clean their closets out of things they aren't wearing, people can buy new clothes at a reasonable price, and all of the money goes towards an incredible cause.”
The three students and their peers spread the word throughout the Thayer community before placing donation boxes in the Student Commons, Southworth Library, the Hale Learning Center, and the Brickyard. They collected gently worn clothing as well as accessories (jewelry, hats, and ties). Finally, they held the thrift shop Nov. 16 and 17 in the Student Commons.
“The support from the Thayer community was unbelievable,” said Rudolph. She thanked families who donated their unworn clothes and accessories — with a special shout-out to the family who donated a treasure trove of Vineyard Vines clothing — and the faculty members who not only helped to organize the store but often brought their classes along for a visit.
Noting the number of students who volunteered to help, Rudolph singled out her classmates for special praise.
“I’m so grateful for them,” she said. “The Thrift Store was such a great event because it showcased Thayer as a community.”
OMEGA (Organization for Minority Enrichment, Growth & Awareness) is an Upper School alliance group committed to educating the community about diversity, inclusion, and equity in the school.
QUEST (Queer Union for Education and Support at Thayer) works to improve awareness and acceptance of differences in students’ sexual orientation and sexual identity.
TA Sustainability seeks to make sustainability practices a priority throughout campus life.
The first student-run thrift shop was held in the spring of 2023 and was a collaboration among OMEGA, TA Sustainability, and the Spanish Club; that daylong event took place in the Tiger’s Den, and funds raised were donated to support refugee organizations.
Because of the success of both collaborations, the Thayer Thrift Store is now scheduled to take place twice per year.