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Thrift Store celebrates 10 years!

An update from Cancer Connection:

Cancer Connection Thrift Shop Celebrates Ten Years

On December 10, 2023, Cancer Connection’s Thrift Shop will mark a decade since

it first opened its doors. Located at 375 South Street, the Thrift Shop offers a variety of high-quality, gently-used (and sometimes brand-new) clothing, jewelry, home goods, books and more, and has been named the best-used clothing store by the Valley Advocate six times. It is a wildly-successful business that is 100% for charity - every dollar spent at the Thrift Shop goes directly to fund Cancer Connection’s programs for cancer patients and their loved ones (all offered free of charge).

Led by manager Christine Quinn and assistant manager Chris Rodriguez, with another full-time and two part-time staff members and fifty regular volunteers (many of whom have been with the store for years), the Thrift Shop is endlessly popular and busy. Quinn estimates that the store receives an average of 3-5 boxes of donations every 3-5 minutes, with hundreds of customers shopping each day - and in tough economic times, the store is more in-demand than ever. With so much going on behind the scenes and in the store at all times, Quinn laughingly compared a typical day to the iconic I Love Lucy candy factory episode. “We like a really busy, fun atmosphere that attracts a variety of people.” Quinn said. In fact, as proud as they are to reach their tenth birthday, Quinn noted “There isn’t even time – or room – to celebrate. We’re too busy!”

Quinn observed that there is a similar feel-good boost that comes from scoring a great shopping find and from doing something good for someone else. At the Thrift Shop, people can have those two feelings at once – and it keeps them coming back. Many customers share their own experiences with cancer or other challenges with staff, and love that their favorite shopping destination is also helping those navigating cancer.

Making this magic happens takes many hands, and Quinn credits the family feeling of the Cancer Connection Thrift Shop team, likening all the many helpers to the facets of a jewel: “Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers, staff, donors and customers. You make a difference.”

The Thrift Shop is open for shopping Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 to 5:00 pm. Please check the website for donation days and hours:

Founded in 2000, Cancer Connection’s mission is to provide a haven where people with cancer and their loved ones can learn how to navigate the complicated cancer journey through one-to-one guidance, education, peer support, integrative therapies, and creative programs. Cancer Connection is the only cancer support center in Hampshire and Franklin Counties and draws additional participants from Hampden County and beyond. All of Cancer Connection’s services are provided free of charge.


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