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Columbia Pike Thrift Shop

The Columbia Pike Thrift Shop, located at 4101 Columbia Pike, is one of the major outreach programs of Trinity Episcopal Church. The women of Trinity once held rummage sales twice a year to make money for the church. In April of 1964, after a three-day rummage sale on April 2, 3, and 4, the Columbia Pike Thrift Shop opened on April 6 for consignments and donations.

Betty Schwalm and Ollie Cogswell co-chaired the operation. It was the only thrift shop at the time under church auspices serving the general public in Arlington. It was an immediate success. The volume of good clothing coming into the shop almost exceeds the imagination and there is a wealth of other items such as books, toys, china, silverware, jewelry, pictures, small furniture items, kitchen-ware, and all kinds of knick knacks to be had at very reasonable prices. A large number of items are consigned by our many customers plus many items are donated. Nothing goes to waste. The items that do not sell are passed on to other organizations such as the American Rescue Workers, Appalachia, Western State Hospital, Salvation Army, Gifts for the Homeless, Inc. in D.C., El Hogar, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center. We have also donated items to needy families in the area.

In the early years, the Thrift Shop determined how the net profit would be spent. The money was used for such things as debt retirement on the church, diocesan pledge, memorial and discretionary funds, church maintenance and repairs, and payments on the Veitch Street property. Other gifts made in the name of Trinity included Goodwin House, flood relief, and Arlington Hospital.

Currently all of the net profit goes into the General Fund of Trinity Church except for donations to the Rector's Discretionary Fund and $1000 each year to a charity selected by the Executive Board of the Thrift Shop. Recipients of the Thrift Shop donations have included Hospice, Alexandria Network Preschool, Car Ministry and North Carolina flood relief.

The Shop is run by all volunteers. Although it started out with volunteers from Trinity, many of our present volunteers do not belong to Trinity. In most cases, our volunteers started out consigning their items, and ended up volunteering to help out. Our pool of volunteers, especially from Trinity, has dwindled over the past years as the older volunteers have passed away or are no longer capable of continuing to work, and most of the younger members of Trinity have full-time jobs. There are jobs waiting at the Thrift Shop for men and women of all ages, starting with teenagers. This is one place where no previous experience is necessary, and there are many types of jobs for which volunteers are needed.

The Shop is open 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Monday thru Saturday. To volunteer your services or find out more about the Thrift Shop contact Mae Kmeco, Thrift Shop Manager by calling 703/521-3110.


2217 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA  22204 Phone:  703-920-7077  Fax:  703-920-5560 Office Email:  info@tecarl.org            Webmaster Email: webadmin@tecarl.org