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
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
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
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.