Store donations help animals

Henry, one of the unofficial feline CEOs of A Worthy Pause, peers through rows of jewelry in the Bayside store. Photo by Stephen Stirling
By Stephen Stirling

Times may be tough all around, but volunteers at one Bayside thrift shop said it has not put a damper on people’s giving spirit — to the benefit of four−legged critters citywide.

At A Worthy Pause, a nonprofit thrift and gift shop at 40−08 Corporal Kennedy Blvd., a handful of volunteers have been selling people’s old wares to benefit animals for more than 30 years. And though the economy has lightened many city residents’ wallets, volunteer Randy Warner said sales, and perhaps more notably donations, have both increased in recent months.

“People are doing badly right now, but I think they also know that others are doing badly, too, so we haven’t really seen any kind of slowdown,” Warner said.

Started by Gertrude Barron more than 33 years ago, A Worthy Pause has always operated as a typical thrift shop.

“We have everything from antiques to zippers,” Warner said. “We have more fun with the antiques, but people do need zippers.”

But this store comes with a twist. Everyone who works at the small cluttered store is a volunteer and 100 percent of the proceeds after the bills are paid go toward helping animals.

According to Barron, the store has helped pay $18,492 in veterinary, boarding and food bills for needy animals since December 2007. A Worthy Pause also contributed $6,463 to spay and neuter certificates and $4,420 to various animal charities during the same period.

“We don’t believe in putting any animal down because they are too expensive to pay for,” Barron said. “We recently helped one cat who was on death’s door. We paid more than $3,000 to put her back together again. If we have the money, we will spend whatever it takes to save an animal.”

Though it is operated out of a small space, A Worthy Pause manages to pack a lot of product onto its shelves.

“We’ll take just about anything outside of clothing,” Barron said. “We’ve been cutting back on books recently because we just don’t have the space.”

Warner said though sales have been doing well despite the economy, there has been a notable shift in what people are buying.

“More people are buying practical items rather than collectables,” she said. “You get people that come in and ask for saucepans or things that are new in the box that they can give as gifts a lot more these days.”

While Warner, Barron, Kathi Csuri, William Mallon, Queenie Mallon, Rose Meehan and Gloria Bornhoeft do a good job of keeping up with incoming donations, they do so under the watchful eye of the store’s only full−time employees: a pair of tubby cats named Henry and Oliver.

“They’re the CEO and CFO of the store,” Barron said.

Donations can be made anytime during store hours Tuesday to Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 718−279−8191.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

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