GLOVERSVILLE — The Senior Center of Gloversville and Fulton County’s Golden Corner’s thrift stop is humming along as a source of revenue for the agency and a place to get gifts or needed items for seniors in the community.
Sitting to the left of the entrance, the corner of the building features a wide variety of donated items that are for sale from clothing and purses to cookware and holiday decorations.
Center Director Ellie DiScioscia said people are allowed to name their own price for the items. She said the idea is to ensure that people can get things they need within their budget.
“Some people use it themselves or they use it to give as a gift, or it reminds them of something when they were younger,” she said.
She said shoppers range from people who check daily for new items to groups of friends who use it as an opportunity to have lunch downtown and then shop at the corner.
Items that aren’t purchased within a month of being donated are given to the Salvation Army or area churches. She said the idea is to keep the money made from selling the item in the local area and not having anything sent to a landfill.
“The items all stay local. Nothing gets thrown out,” she said.
She said one group of people do a puzzle swap, paying for puzzle’s from the Golden Corners and dropping off ones they have already done, repeating the process as new puzzles come in.
DiScioscia said she is hopeful that spring cleaning will see a number of people make donations for the shop. She said they have already seen an uptick in sales as the weather turned warmer.
She said the vast majority of people are more than fair with their price offers, understanding that it is a way the center is raising funds.
“It goes directly to keeping the building open and paying expenses,” DiScioscia said.
She said funds from donations help the center pay their light and water bills, purchase office supplies, secure advertising and ensure their insurance stays up to date. Building improvements and program expenses such as art supplies are also provided by the funding the center receives.
The center also gets funds from people who pay to use the center for parties or private functions.
She said people also use the Golden Corner’s shop for parties and other events, slipping envelopes with money and a description of the item under the office door or notes letting her know they will be back to pay for the item when they drop the key off after their event.
The center was facing a possible closure in late 2015, following some financial issues. It was able to get the finances back on track with the help of $12,000 in funding from the Common Council and a $30,000 grant that former Sen. Hugh T. Farley secured.
DiScioscia said board members are currently working to finish up the grant paperwork. Those funds will be used activities, programs or upkeep on the building.
“[Private donations] allows other people to use the building,” she said. “It provides a space for the community to use, other groups, organizations and non-profits have access to the building. It’s become important to the community, this building.”
DiScioscia said the center is funded through some grants, funding by the city and legacy gifts left in people’s wills. She said the rest of the funds comes from private donations, fundraising and sales from the Golden Corners.
DiScioscia said a decision by an area municipality earlier this year to restrict fundraiser parking to only municipal groups, has left a $4,000 hole in the center’s budget.
DiScioscia said that she does not have a plan yet for how to make up those funds.
“We’re always looking for ideas and ways to do fundraising,” she said.
DiScioscia said she would welcome help or ideas from individuals with fundraising experience who wish to volunteer their time or ideas to the center.
She said they would also be open to partnering with another group, agency or non-profit on a joint fundraiser and can off the building and workers or volunteers.
“We’d love to assist them or help out in anyway we can and be a part of it anyway we can,” she said.
To donate clean, resellable items, stop by the center at 53 Church St. during its open hours of Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.
To make a monetary donation to the center, check can be sent care of the Gloversville Senior Center at 53 Church St.
People wishing to donate their time or expertise to the center can call DiScioscia at (518)725-0923.
Kerry Minor can be reached at [email protected]