Early shopping opportunity

Linda Horton, left, and satisfied shopper Caroline Parker.

“I love to shop here because I always find something, and it’s within my budget,” said Caroline Parker of Bedminster, NJ, adding that, “I love the fact that I’m contributing to Matheny.” Parker was one of several shoppers at “First Chance at Second Chance”, the August 22nd one-day reopening of The Friends of Matheny’s Second Chance Shop, a thrift shop adjacent to the Gladstone, NJ, United Methodist Church that raises funds for Matheny.

According to Linda Horton, manager of the shop and a member of Matheny’s Board of Trustees, this year’s “First Chance” earned $3,217.79—“the best ever!” Nineteen volunteers helped at the sales counter of the shop, which was restocked and reopened for the 2012-13 season at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 4.  The Friends of Matheny has raised more than $3 million for Matheny since the auxiliary group’s inception in 1983.

The 10 a.m. volunteer sales crew. From left: Arlene Rafalko of Gillette, NJ; Marylinn Fox of Harding Twp, NJ; Gloria Radleman of Tewksbury, NJ; and Mary Creamer of Mendham, NJ.


First Chance at “Second Chance”

A customer making a purchase at Second Chance.

The Friends of Matheny’s Second Chance thrift shop, which is closed for the summer, will reopen for one day on Wednesday, August 22 for “First Chance at Second Chance,” a preview of items available for sale when the shop reopens permanently on September 4.

The Second Chance Shop established a new record last season, raising more than $126,000, which was 48% more than the previous season’s $85,000. The shop was operating in a new location, a building adjacent to the Gladstone United Methodist Church. For several years prior to that, it had operated out of the church’s basement. Funds raised by the thrift shop help support several activities and programs at Matheny.

Bargains galore

Chris Johnson, center, and Seena Frankel, right, wait on customer Linda Cowperthwaite of Long Valley, NJ, who says, “I like shopping here because the staff is so helpful.”

People shop at The Friends of Matheny’s Second Chance Shop in Gladstone, NJ, mainly because of the bargains. But it also helps to have friendly, knowledgeable salespeople, all of whom are volunteers. Two of the veteran volunteers, Chris Johnson of Bedminster, NJ, and Seena Frankel of Bernardsville, NJ, had the “shift of the week” in late March. On a Thursday morning, they sold $518.75 worth of merchandise, including a big set of dishes, two bookcases and a painted saw.

When Frankel moved to Bernardsville from Brooklyn 10 years ago, she began volunteering at the shop. She loves that “the customers are all different, plus I love organizing things.” Johnson met Frankel at an art class at the Center for Contemporary Art in Pluckemin, NJ. “Seena introduced me to Matheny,” she recalls. They also discovered that they both had gone to Chatham High School.

The Second Chance Shop, which earned $88,000 last year, seems to be on a record pace this year after moving to a larger location in the Gladstone United Methodist Church. As of March 31, its total sales for the year were more than $90,000, about $23,000 ahead of the previous year. The Friends of Matheny, Matheny’s auxiliary group, has raised more than $3 million since its inception in 1983.