Corporate Philanthropy and Community Involvement

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Liberty Mutual logoServe with Liberty Day at Impact Thrift Stores

This year Liberty Mutual employees across the country celebrated its 100th anniversary by serving the communities they call home. 6 awesome volunteers:  Lisa Crawford, Jennifer Sariego, Linda Shupard, Susan Porter, Sarah Lauro, and Mark Brown took the opportunity to serve their community by spending the day helping others in need at Impact Thrift Stores in Norristown PA. Projects coordinated by the Norristown store manager, Larry Leary, included working alongside staff members in the Bric-A-Brac and Clothing departments to sort, clean, price and stock shelves with items to be sold in the store.

Liberty Mutual staff working in our Bric-a-Brac department“It was definitely an eye opening experience to see what actually goes on behind the scenes, and to see all the customers just waiting for the “new” merchandise to hit the sales floor.” commented Lisa Crawford, Volunteer Coordinator and Customer Claims Rep Supervisor for Liberty Mutual.

As soon as the corporate offices of Liberty Mutual presented options for volunteer opportunities to its staff, Lisa Crawford immediately nominated Impact Thrift to make her volunteer contribution with. Over the years, Lisa has been a loyal supporter of Impact Thrift as a shopper and donor. It is because of Lisa’s love for Impact Thrift’s mission to support local charities and positively impact the community, that she was very instrumental in making this wonderful partnership possible.Liberty Mutual staff working side by side with Impact Thrift staff

After spending the morning with the enthusiastic and joyful volunteers it became very apparent that Liberty Mutual did not partner with Impact Thrift just as a means of jumping on the bandwagon of the latest fad in corporate social responsibility. Stocking Bric-a-Brac shelves at Norristown Impact Thrift StoresNor did they volunteer for some sort of recognition or to selfishly expand their corporate visibility. It was glaringly obvious that  Lisa, Jennifer, Linda, Susan, Sarah and Mark all served with Impact Thrift simply because strengthening the lives of families and children in crisis, and uplifting those who are most fragile in our communities is the right thing to do.

It is only with the help of volunteers such as the staff at Liberty Mutual that we have been able to be of such service to the charities we support. We extend our sincerest “Thank You”, and hope that Liberty Mutual would continue to extend their valuable support in the future.

Visit our website to learn more about how your company or organization can get involved.

Celebrate the Red, White and Blue!

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Patriotic tablescape incorporates a variety of items and stylesWhether you’re having a small family BBQ or a big neighborhood bash, we’ve got some great 4th of July party and decorating ideas for your festive celebration.

For a pretty table-scape, shop your own cabinets and closets first. Pull anything red, white or blue, large or small. Do you have an small blue bowl or your grandmother’s white serving platter?  Perhaps a red vase from Valentine’s Day flowers?  Mix and match plates of various sizes, a variety of glassware, and decorative items.   Red, blue, silver or gold chargers normally used in December can be brought out of summer hibernation and used for a gorgeous pop of color.

Next, shop your linen closet, scarf drawer or fabric stash (because we all have one of those… right…) Layer colors, prints and textures for a great look. Use your imagination when it comes to putting items together – a pretty gingham curtain panel can double as a tablecloth layer. Cloth napkins can add an additional splash of color. And don’t worry about the shade of color… items in various shades of red, blue and white add depth and interest to your table.

Still looking for that one item to fill a space or function? 

Wander the Bric-a-Brac isles at your favorite Impact Thrift Store with an open mind…. Look first at color, then function. Mix and match a variety of red, blue and clear glass goblets for a shabby chic look.  White plates with blue trim can be stacked with solid color plates or others with design – every place setting can have a different personality.  A wicker basket or two could be decorated with ribbon and candles. A flag draped picture frame can hold your menu or child’s art project. Our Domestics Department is full of great table cloths and runners, cloth napkins and more!  A flat bed sheet with the perfect print could become a table cloth or runner as well. In the Jewelry Department you might find some earrings or pins that could add a sparkle or accent.

And don’t forget the Electronics Department… old white computer cables braided together might make an interesting napkin ring… it could work…all about the red, white and blue

Next step – Create! Set your kids in motion with crayons, markers, paper – and some paint if you’re brave, making wonderful flags, pinwheels, centerpieces and place cards.

And don’t forget the food… the most important element of any bbq. Challenge yourself to fill your grocery cart with ONLY red, white and blue food items, then start cookin’! Layers of strawberries, blueberries and vanilla yogurt make a delicious and healthy dessert. Roll the edges of ice cream sandwiches in red, white and blue sprinkles.  Red candy apples are not just for Halloween! Serve them on a bed of blueberries for a very patriotic dessert. Hot dogs and hamburgers are red, chicken and fish are white so even your protein dishes will cooperate! Looking for more ideas… check out our Pinterest board all about the Red, White and Blue with lots of free craft tutorials and recipes for every patriotic occasion!

And don’t forget to… Have fun!

After your event, once clean up is complete, pack up those thrift store finds and re-donate!  We’ll accept all that you purchased here and more. Turn every gathering and event into a thrift decorating challenge… as much fun as the 4th of July!

The Next Generation of Super Heroes: Karl Leisch

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Impacting Lives…One Donation at a Time
~ by Tamika Miller 

Senior year in high school…a time when many students are self-absorbed with updating their Facebook status, ruling the twitter universe, and worrying about dates for the prom. At that age, life is theirs for the taking…the world is at their fingertips…at their disposal. After all, without mortgages, car notes, or a demanding 9 to 5, do they really have a care in the world? In most cases, most teenagers don’t look beyond the circumference of their blissful carefree existence. For most teenagers, it’s all about me…Me…ME! But, every once a while, when you least expect it, you come across a rare exception. I had the honor of meeting one of those rare exceptions…his name is Karl Leisch.

Karl Leisch, a senior at Hatboro Horsham High, reached out Impact Thrift to host a community collection drive at his church, St. Catherine of Siena, for his senior project. I agreed to be Karl’s mentor for the project, and from the very beginning, he was a pleasure to work with. He was always courteous, kind, considerate, personable, prompt, and followed through with every task.

Karl went above and beyond the normal efforts of promoting his collection drive by volunteering at the Montgomeryville store, creating a brochure and video (which he broadcasted at Hatboro High), canvasing the neighborhood with flyers, making church announcements and including his drive in the church newsletter. But what impressed me the most was that Karl organized the collection drive in loving memory of his late grandmother; who I’m sure would be very proud.

I have coordinated many collection drives and I must say that no one has ever filled the 12 foot Impact Thrift truck to its capacity with donations as Karl Leisch did. And when the truck began to overflow, he filled my car with donations as well! After the collection drive, Karl followed the Impact Thrift truck from the church in Horsham to the Feasterville store location, to help sort the donations, and prepare them to be sold.

I could go on and on about how phenomenal Karl Leisch is. But I will sum it up by saying, both personally and professionally, Karl is an absolute super hero. I attribute this to Karl because of his passion and ability to inspire others,  his integrity and very clear set of values, his commitment to community, and his selflessness towards helping others who are in need. With Karl’s help, Impact Thrift has seen many lives changed for the better!

Karl’s Inspiration:

“A year and a half ago my grandmother passed after battling health complications for years. This shook up my entire world and left us feeling empty. My grandmother’s house was left full of furniture, household appliances and clothes. Not knowing what to do with this material, we looked for a place to donate. Impact reached out to my family and ensured that they would accept all that they could. With a place like Impact, families can understand that they do not need to throw away belongings. They can be donated and given a second life to someone that is in need.”  ~Karl Leisch

Veterans and Active Duty Military Discount

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Impact Thrift Stores now offers a 10% discount to all Active Duty Military and their families with valid military ID, and to Veterans in all of our stores as a participant in both the Montgomery County Veterans Discount Program and a similar program in Bucks County.

Veterans are encouraged to register for this program and obtain photo ID in order to receive discounts at Impact Thrift Stores and a long and growing list of merchants in both Bucks and Montgomery Counties. The complete list of merchants can be found at each of the county Recorder of Deeds websites below.

Veterans living in Montgomery County can obtain a photo ID through the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds office.  Veterans living in Bucks County can obtain photo ID through the Bucks County Recorder of Deeds office.

At Impact Thrift Stores, this discount CAN be combined with a coupon or sale event.



It’s Swimsuit Season

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It’s officially swimsuit season.

While the majority of women feel that shopping for a swimsuit is about as pleasurable as paying taxes or root canal, here’s a great guide to shopping for a bathing suit… HOWEVER, loyal Impact Shoppers, we would like to draw your attention to the headline of this web article from “Low Cost/ High Impact Suits for under $30″

HA!  at Impact Thrift Stores our suits are priced from $2.99 to $5.99!  Here’s a sampling of what you can find at one of our four stores

P.S. Stay tuned – coming soon we’ll show you how to make a gorgeous open back cover-up perfect for beach or poolside, seen elsewhere for upwards of $49

For the Best Dad!

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Looking for a great, easy Father’s Day gift that your kids can do without much help? 

Perfect for little hands to make for Dad, here’s an easy home-made present that can either hang on a wall or decorate his desk.  Start by pouring yourself a cup of coffee and sending the kids out to find rocks, pebbles or any objects (that are not alive) that dad might like…

kids gathering rocksSupplies:
The only supply you may need to purchase is  Air-dry clay – available in many colors at your local craft supply store. You will also need:

• Wax paper
• Small rocks, pebbles or found objects such as bottle caps or nuts and bolts
• Optional: Saw tooth picture hanger
• Optional: Extra embellishments such as paint, shells, beads, marbles, etc.

1. Place the air-dry clay on a sheet of wax paper and using your hands or a rolling pin, form a flattened disk about ½” thick. Other shapes would be fun also – a triangle, star or a heart for example.

2. Spell out whatever you wish in small pebbles, ours says ‘DAD ROCKS’! To help space out the letters, we used a pencil point to mark where each pebble should go. Press each pebble into the clay in your chosen pattern. Add any other embellishments such as shells or marbles at this point.

3. Carefully turn the project over and press the saw tooth picture hanger gently into the top center approx. 1 inch below the top edge. Take care not to push the hanger through the front of the project.

4. Allow your project to air dry overnight. If you choose to add paint embellishments, add them after the clay is dry. Turn the plaque over and with either paint or a sharpee marker, write your child’s name and the date.

Click here for a printable version.

Impact Thrift Chosen Non-Profit of the Year!

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Impact Thrift Stores is honored to announce that we have been chosen as the 2012 Non-Profit of the Year by the PennSuburban Chamber of Commerce!  One non-profit member has been recognized each year since 1998 by the chamber, formerly known as the North Penn Chamber of Commerce, serving the Montgomery County business community since 1913.  The award will be formally presented at the PennSuburban Chamber’s  Annual Dinner and Awards Celebration on June 14th at the William Penn Inn in Bluebell, PA.

According to Pam Kelly, President and CEO of the PennSuburban Chamber of Commerce, award recipients are chosen “based on recommendations from chamber staff and board of directors as well as member input.  The staff and board work together to make the annual selection utilizing established criteria.”

Impact Thrift Stores was chosen as this year’s award winner based on “the number of lives impacted” by our work. “Not only through the donations to charities, but as an employer and a provider of a low cost shopping opportunity in the community,” said Pam.  “You enjoy a strong image in the community through the availability of community service opportunities and internships. You have demonstrated a growth in your facilities and employment over the past year, and you have been an active member of the PennSuburban Chamber of Commerce.”

“As we work hard, day in and day out, on the details of running a business, we get so wrapped up in that work that we don’t realize the impact we are having in the community,” said Jo Greenawalt, Impact Thrift Stores’ Director of Business Development.  “We thank you for this award.  It is a stark reminder of why we are here and it re-energizes our stores and our staff to continue what we are doing.”

“We don’t see ourselves as touching lives on a daily basis as do our supported charities who work directly with their clients. In receiving this award we are reminded of why Impact Thrift Stores exists,” Jo continues.  “We act as a vehicle to facilitate the creation of funds from your gently-used merchandise donations which we then distribute to locally-based charities that focus on the needs of families and children in our area.  This award should be given to the community itself because, without our donors and shoppers none of this could be accomplished. It truly takes a whole community.”

Past Non-Profit of the Year award recipients include North Penn Boys/Girls Club, North Penn VNA, North Penn YMCA, North Penn United Way, Community Housing, Foulkeways, North Penn Rotary Club, Peak Center, Manna on Main Street, North Penn Community Health Foundation, Abington Health, and the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association.

From Runway to Real Life… Secrets of a Fashionista for Busy Women

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Teal and Kelly outfit with Navy skirt

Navy skirt by Ann Taylor $5.99, Sonoma green top $3.99, Loft turquoise cardigan $3.99, Tommy Hilfiger turquoise strappy sandals $5.00

On any given day you probably have a thousand errands to run, put in an eight hour workday, chauffeur kids to activities and sports practices, all the while playing catch up from yesterday and the day before…

Who has time to study and translate the crazy, ever-changing fashion trends into Real Life Fashion for the Rest of Us. Let’s be honest, who’s really wearing the blinding fluorescent colors head to toe?

celery sweater with pink top and olive green shorts

American Eagle Outfitters olive cargo shorts $3.99, Merona petal pink top $3.49, Ann Taylor pale celery green cardigan $5.99

We all want to look put-together, feel good about what we’re wearing, and be comfortable without spending a fortune and time you just can’t spare running from store to store to store. If this sounds like your life, then keep reading. You need key information that you can apply right now.

We’ll do the hard work for you and tell you what you need to know so you’re looking fresh and fabulous this Spring/Summer, saving you money and precious time too!

This season, you can expect to see certain colors and color combinations popping up over and over. Put any of these together with pieces you already have or augment your wardrobe with a few new items and you’ll be all set.  You probably have some key items in your closet right now that can be used as a base.
The first great color combination is navy blue with orange (named color of the year!), hot pink, turquoise, or kelly green. Olive green is far from drab when it’s mixed with cantaloupe, petal pink, scarlet, or pale celery green. An otherwise muted gray gets a Spring lift when paired with either cobalt blue, seafoam green, lavender, or lemon yellow.
Keep these casual with capris and shorts, tees & tank tops, or interpret these into your 9 to 5 wardrobe with suits and blouses.  Don’t be afraid to use more than one pop of color with these neutral base colors either.  One other bonus — these fresh color combinations will see you seamlessly through Summer as well.

Let’s Play Name Those Herbs!

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plant marker from a butter knifeMid-May has arrived and any threat of frost has passed (finally!) Time to plant your garden outdoors!  Nothing better than fresh herbs and vegetables all summer but the question always comes up (in my house at least)… what is the name of that herb again?

Here’s a great way to use some old silverware for a new purpose.  You may have some worn looking yet still beautiful silver plate flatware around your house or shop thrift for a great piece or two. Turn them into name markers for your outdoor plants or add fun little sayings to liven up your garden!

Materials Needed:
  • old knives and/or spoons… silver plate works well for an aged look and stainless steel will give you a cleaner look
  • alphabetical metal stamp set available at your local craft store in the jewelry supply department for around $20
  • hammer
  • black sharpie marker
  • paper towel or rag
  • metal dapping block, a block of wood or something hard to protect your work surface
Here’s how:
1) Decide what to stamp – We chose herb names: Basil, Parsley, Thyme, etc., but you might stamp sayings or messages. Keep in mind word length and the size of your stamping surface.
2) A knife will give you a large flat surface on it’s blade to stamp. If you want to use a spoon, you’ll have to flatten the bowl first. Hit the bowl of the spoon on the wrong side repeatedly with a hammer until it is flat. Be sure to protect your work surface with the dapping or wooden block.
3) Plan your word spacing. Hold each letter right side up and double check the letter direction before proceeding. Place the letter stamp on the stamping surface (your knife or spoon) and give it a couple good whacks with the hammer. Watch your fingers!
4) After you have stamped the whole word, color in the letters with the sharpie and immediately wipe away the excess. The ink will stay in the depression of each letter and make it stand out.
Voila!  Your garden will feel so special!­ 
Click here for a printable version of this repurposing project.

From Runway to Real Life – May ’12

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Add a splash of color with a wonderful scarfWant to breathe a little Spring into your wardrobe?  Try this easy solution without breaking the bank!  

Add a vibrant scarf!  bright green scarf with some pink pop of color

Instead of a necklace, tie a soft loop of bright fabric to perk up an otherwise mundane outfit instantly.  It’s a fun way to bring prints and colors to your everyday outfits.  Consider a polka dot… all the rage this spring.  Maybe a scarf with sequins or beads… or an animal print!  

fluffy pink scarf with sequins

A solid color that blends in will give your outfit some subtle depth and texture.

A scarf with lots of color could be just the right touch to help you stand out from the crowd!

Play with a variety of ways to knot your scarf. Double over and slip the ends through the loop… Tie a big retro bow on one shoulder… A large scarf could double as a halter top in the summer!

if the scarf is large enough, tie it as a halter top!

You might go to a regular department store and pay a small fortune for a scarf OR stop in at any one of our 4 locations and get a steal on gorgeous scarves priced from $.50 to $3.99.  Happy Shopping!  

We’d love to see your Impact Fashion Finds so that we can feature them on Facebook and our blog!  E-mail a picture or more of your outfit or awesome find and we might feature it on our blog!

Are you on Pinterest?  Follow us as we discover repurposing ideas, fashion forward finds, seasonal inspirations and more!

A variety of scarves add a pop of color