Lawrence Hospital Center’s Bargain Box to Close
Mar 11, 2013
After nearly seventy years of deals and unique offerings, Lawrence Hospital Center’s thrift shop, the Bargain Box will be closing its doors. “We are sad to lose the Bargain Box,” says Tracy Conte, Vice President at Lawrence Hospital Center. “It has been an institution here in the Village for 67 years and has had a great run. The decision to close was difficult for everyone involved, especially our volunteers, but everyone agreed the time has come.”
The Hospital opened the Bargain Box in 1946. It’s been a store where locals could find old books, gently used clothing, furniture, bric-a-brac and costume jewelry. Open six days a week, the Bargain Box is run by the Hospital’s Auxiliary. Helen Lovell is its president. “Throughout its history, our volunteers have given 800,000 hours of service and sales from the Bargain Box have amounted to more than $5 million that’s been donated back to the Hospital,” states Lovell. “I am sure that the friendships that have developed working together through the years will continue.”
Like some other thrift shops in the area, the Bargain Box has seen sales slide and donations drop off slowly over time. Some attribute the decline to stiffer competition from other non-profit organizations that accept the same kinds of items. In an economy where many long-standing businesses have been forced to close, the Bargain Box has done well to sustain itself for as long as it has. Space and utilities for the Bargain Box have been supplied by the hospital at no cost throughout the store’s history.
Joanne Vecchione, a long-time, second-generation volunteer, is the co-chair of the Bargain Box and helps to oversee it. Her mother, Helen Paulus, also ran the Bargain Box before her. While she is sad the store will close, she understands the reasons why. "For 67 years Lawrence Hospital Center has been the recipient of the proceeds from sales at the Bargain Box. The generosity of time and effort put forth by our dedicated Volunteers is immeasurable. Our time spent together, serving the Hospital and the Community will be among my happiest memories for years to come. We extend our gratitude to those who have supported our endeavors for Lawrence Hospital Center -- our generous donors, our loyal customers and the hospital employees. Their support of the Bargain Box is why we have been successful all these years."
The hospital has no immediate plans for the 3,000 sf that will be vacated when the store closes, but acknowledges that it will explore options for how to best utilize the space to support patient care services.
“The most valuable gift anyone has to give is their own time. Our volunteers have been tireless in their devotion and the hospital has benefited. We are so grateful. We hope they will stay on and explore new ways in which their time can support Lawrence Hospital,” added Conte.
The Bargain Box will remain open until it officially closes its doors on Friday, June 21, 2013. It will continue to accept donations until the end of May. The shop’s hours are Monday thru Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm; Saturdays, 9:30am to 1:30pm and closed on Sundays. For more information about the types of items you can donate, please call 914-787-2278.