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Closet Begins Summer Shopping Days

Monthly Thursday evening hours allow more shopping opportunities.

Volunteers at The Closet in Herndon will open the nonprofit thrift store the last Thursday evening of each month to try to attract more shoppers.

Volunteers at The Closet in Herndon will open the nonprofit thrift store the last Thursday evening of each month to try to attract more shoppers. Photo by Alex McVeigh.

— The Closet, a nonprofit thrift shop in downtown Herndon, will open Thursday evenings once a month, to allow potential shoppers another chance to explore the various clothes, antiques, electronics and other appliances offered.

This is the second year The Closet has offered evening summer shopping hours.

"We wanted to open and give people who might otherwise be at work or busy a chance to stop in and see what we can offer," said Laura Greenspan, Closet president. "It’s a way to serve people who can’t get here during the day, and also give more volunteers a chance."

While the Thursday shopping nights are aimed at attracting more customers, more volunteers are also being exposed.

"I’ve never been here before today, and now I feel like I’ve discovered a real gem in this community," said Bonnie Epstein, who volunteered at the first summer shopping night of the year last Thursday, May 31. "It’s so organized and clean in here, and the prices are just amazing.

The store is staffed by mostly volunteers, and the Thursday shopping nights will be staffed entirely by volunteers.

"We wanted the shopping nights to be completely volunteer run so there’s no extra cost and no negative impact on the current staff," Greenspan said. "Anything we can do to help the store bottom line and increase what we can get out to the community."

Janet Bolton, a longtime volunteer who coordinates staffing for the Thursday shopping nights, says the monthly evening openings see a good mix of regular customers and new ones.

"We have our regulars who are in here every week and they like that these can be less crowded than the regular days," she said. "We’ve gotten some new traffic coming in as part of the Herndon festival, and we hope we’ll see more every week."

Sandy Espinosa of Herndon is familiar with The Closet, but since she works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, she doesn’t get there much.

"I’m always at work when they’re open, except Saturdays, so I feel like I’m always missing out on the cool stuff they have here," she said. "I love the idea of the shopping nights, now I know I’ll be stopping by after work once a month, and hopefully I can expose some friends and co-workers to the store, because it’s going to helping this community."

The money from donations and sales at The Closet goes out to communities, last year alone they donated more than $80,000 to social service agencies and member congregations. Since its founding in 1974, The Closet has provided more than $2 million to local groups and programs.

The Closet is located at 845 Station Street and is regularly open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The summer shopping nights will take place on the last Thursday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. through September, which will be June 28, July 26, Aug. 30 and Sept. 27.

More information, including how to donate, can be found at www.theclosetofgreaterherndon.org.