When walking into the Otterbein Thrift Shop, an odd sort of nostalgia hits. It’s like visiting grandma’s old, distinctive-smelling house. The interior is jam-packed with items hanging on racks and stacked on shelves. It’s clear that donations have been heavy.
The Otterbein Thrift Store has been open since 1952, going through several locations such as the basement of Cowan Hall, Towers Hall and two separate home-sites. The Thrift Shop found its current home in the ’70s at 177 W. Park Street, situated on the edge of the commuter parking lot.
The items sold at the Thrift Shop include clothes, sheets, towels, kitchen utensils/cookware, jewelry, collectibles and Otterbein memorabilia. With three stories of items, there is a lot to go through.
A common Thrift Shop goer, Professor Kerry Strayer said, “One of the things I recommend to people is, you’re set up here temporarily...it’s a great place to go and look because they’ve got all kinds of stuff...they’ve got a lot of clothing.”
However, many donated items may be unusable, whether their condition is not acceptable, or the items are too big for the store to keep them anywhere. In this case, volunteer Suzi Jones said, “This is stuff we pack up in containers and they [Salvation Army] take it every week.”
There is a healthy cycle of donations within the store, not only in items, but in profits as well. Volunteer Joanne Seith said, “We have given over a million dollars to Otterbein since the beginning.” All the money that the store receives from its patrons buying the donated goods goes directly to Otterbein, whether it’s scholarship funding or campus project funding.
The Thrift Shop is operated by adult and student volunteers. They are very appreciative of donations and customers, and they hope to gain more volunteers to help around the store. The store has plenty to offer to the Otterbein community.
“Just know that it’s here, that’s the important thing,” Jones said. The store has many items that people could find value in, whether living in an apartment or living in a dorm. The Otterbein Thrift Shop has a lot to offer for not a lot of money. Cash only, please.