Life’s Treasures Thrift Store in Brandon is celebrating 10 years of serving the Brandon community through the store and its support of LifePath Hospice’s patient and family programs in Hillsborough County. In recognition of the milestone, a celebration was held at the Brandon store for volunteers and customers, including snacks, live music, gift basket giveaways and a 50 percent off sale on the entire store.
The support of the LifePath Hospice programs would not be possible without the revenue generated by Life’s Treasures Thrift Stores.
“One of the biggest things that we say here at the store is every $500 in sales that we generate we are able to send a kid to our children’s grief camp,” said Brad Powell, director of thrift stores.
LifePath Hospice also offers free bereavement services to all community members and fulfills wish requests for its patients.
“It’s a real saving grace for the loved ones that need to take that somewhere,” Powell said. “And we’re more than happy to take it on because it helps us push our mission forward.”
There are five Life’s Treasures Thrift Stores in Hillsborough and Pasco counties that operate in support of LifePath Hospice under the Chapters Health System, and through the revenue raised at the stores along with donations from generous customers, $2.7 million has been donated to support programs in the Greater Tampa area. One of the many programs is the Chapters Health Valor Program, which helps first responders, veterans and their families who are facing life-limiting illnesses.
The Brandon store, opened on September 23, 2013, is the youngest of five Life’s Treasures stores in the Tampa area. It has over 100 volunteers who help create its welcoming, clean and spacious shopping atmosphere.
Hope Wolf has volunteered at the store for nearly 10 years. As a merchandiser, she is responsible for decorating the store, including switching out displays to showcase new items to customers.
“Everyone is so friendly. I’ve met lots of nice people,” Wolf said. “This is a good cause. … You feel kind of good that you’re here to help them.”
In its 10 years in Brandon, the biggest challenge Life’s Treasures has faced was how quickly the store grew. When it established the location in 2013, it didn’t expect how fast the community would fill the store. However, with a growing customer base, it had a growing number of volunteers from teens to veterans.
“They’re our engine,” said Powell about the volunteers. “Without them, we couldn’t do it.”
To support Life’s Treasures Thrift Store, visit its Brandon location off U.S. Highway 60 and Pauls Drive at 1335 W. Brandon Blvd. For more information, visit www.chaptershealth.org.