The Best Little Thrift Shop in Danbury
(located at the back of the church)
First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Avenue
Where we are located
The shop is in the basement of the First Congregational Church of Danbury at the corner of West Street and Deer Hill Avenue. A little hard to find, it is worth the trip!
The store is open Fridays and Saturdays from 9:30 am to 2:00pm. We are looking for volunteers to allow us to have more hours. It would be a great learning opportunity for a High School student looking to get experience in a small shop or a retired person who likes people. The Thrift Shop is an Outreach Program of the First Congregational Church.
Jan Hamlin is a long time volunteer at the Deer Hill Thrift Shop. Despite the thrifty prices, Jan Hamlin, Terry Hanson and others have a flair for giving the shop the appearance of an upscale boutique. The atmosphere is a warm and friendly one, reminiscent of the “corner store” where neighbors came in to visit as well as to shop.
In the pictures below you will see some of the quality and variety that the volunteers pack into a small space. The thrift shop is packed with high-quality clothing -- some even have the original store tags. Some of the more unusual items they have sold are a crab cage, an authentic Chinese shoulder yoke complete with rice buckets, and even a real harpoon -- presumably from the whaling ship Pequod!
We also offer an extensive costume rental section for school and community productions.
We are always interested in donations of items, however due to space constraints, we are not able to take furniture, TVs, microwave ovens or computers.
Theater Directors And Costume Departments
Looking for inexpensive costumes for your productions? Last minute gaps to fill? No seamstresses to turn to?
We have a large selection of women and men’s clothes from contemporary to vintage including shoes, boots, hats and accessories. The cost is an economical $60.00 for a full school year to borrow as much as you need whether for one show or a dozen!
The Costume Gallery
-- at the Deer Hill Thrift Shop
First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Avenue
We are open every Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. No appointment necessary during these hours to peruse our theater quality costume offerings! To make appointments for other days and times, or to arrange for assistance by someone who is knowledgeable about the costumes and the rental procedures, contact the costume coordinator by email or the store by phone during store hours.
For immediate attention, contact the Church Office
Mon – Fri 8:30am – 4 pm
All proceeds provide support for the mission work of the church
Donations of theater quality costumes in very good to excellent condition accepted
Our costumes have helped with the success of the following productions
Sound of Music
Bye Bye Birdie
Guys & Dolls
West Side Story
countless Fairy Tales
a 70's musical review
and many more!
Recent customers include
Carmel senior High
John Read Middle
Our Lady of Fatima in Wilton
Park Ave School
Walnut Hill Church in Bethel
Thrift Shop Outreach Program
Our mission is to provide a significant community resource with:
- Quality merchandise
- Very affordable prices
- Friendly and helpful service
- Clean, orderly environment
- Extensive costume rental section for school and community productions
Not only are we church outreach service, but we are a revenue generator, and we are an important source of funds for the church.
On most weekends we serve between 65 and 90 customers (more when we are running a sale) ranging from non-English speaking adults to single mothers/families in often difficult financial situations; collectors looking for a special toy, dish or vintage piece of clothing and working individuals in need of affordable business wear. We have a large number of loyal customers who stop in regularly to see “what’s new”or on sale or bring a donation. The atmosphere is a warm and friendly one, reminiscent of the old “store” where neighbors came in to visit as well as to shop.
What type of people volunteer for the Thrift Shop Outreach Committee?
Most volunteers are church members but several are from the community or customers who share our purpose and enjoy the work. We also have occasional “interns” , usually students who need to fulfill a number of service hours. Also there are adults who must perform community service hours---these folks are referred to us by local agencies. Hours are Friday and Saturday 10am – 2pm. We would love to be open additional hours/days but need more “warm bodies and willing hands” to make it possible.
In addition to hours at the shop, there are bi-annual meetings with lots of networking and camaraderie in between. Additional meetings can be held if a specific purpose arises.
Our current volunteers include a middle school student, school teachers, nurses, a travel agent, retired business professionals, home makers, and a carpenter; in other words a real cross section of our community.
What do Thrift Shop volunteers do?
All volunteers share the workload. Donations must be sorted, sized, priced and distributed on the sales floor. The racks need to constantly be straightened, customers assisted with their questions, stock must be rotated, displays arranged and updated. Out of season merchandise must be packed and moved to the storage area while current items are brought out for sale. General housekeeping such as dusting and cleaning shelves is also a constant. We often have workdays during the week to prepare the shop for our open hours.
What are you looking for in volunteers?
More help would be wonderful. In addition to general volunteers, having male volunteers, particularly for Saturdays, would be a big bonus. Many donations come from elderly folks who need help bringing their items into the shop. Customers also may require assistance with their purchases and there is always a need for items to be moved to and from storage. We also need a creative person to do window displays and a person with marketing expertise. As we serve a good number of patrons with little or no English, someone fluent in Spanish would really be an asset.
What donations do you need the most?
We could really use more donations of jewelry, gift items and collectables. Interesting antique pieces are also welcome and popular with our shoppers. Due to space constraints, we are not able to take furniture, TVs, microwave ovens, or computers.
How long has the shop been around and who started it?
The shop was started in March 1987 by a group of church women. It arose out of the “rummage sales” then run as fund raisers. There was always a lot of clothing left over which had to be stored until the next sale or disposed of in some manner. We had an empty “room” where the old stage was located and converted it to the Thrift Shop. Over time, as donations and sales increased, the shop expanded into two other rooms which were by then no longer being used for a nursery school.