HCN News & Notes

Hospice Shop Raises $2 Million to Support Local Hospice Care

NORTHAMPTON — The Hospice Shop of Northampton, part of Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice, reached $2 million in donations to hospice care on May 9.

The thrift store at 18 Bridge St. celebrated its 30th anniversary this winter and boasts a selection that includes men and women’s clothing, fashion accessories, art, CDs and DVDs, fabrics and yarn, household items and small appliances, musical instruments, linens, and jewelry.

The Hospice Shop is supported by 66 active volunteers who are committed to the hospice mission and donate more than 6,700 hours annually to ensure that quality end-of-life care is available in the community. Volunteers sort, tag, display, sell, and ring up merchandise; just this year, they have served 19,329 customers. Some of the volunteers have been giving their time for five, 10, or 15 years — or longer.

“I love when a customer will ask about a volunteer they haven’t seen for a while,” said Susan Drzewianowski, the shop manager, who has been there since 2008 when the Hospice Shop recorded its first million in revenue. “It’s a mutual warmth and concern between volunteers and regular customers, especially if it’s been a while since they’ve seen one another.”

One volunteer, Connie Wilson, has shared her time with the shop since 1987, when the store was only a year old. Wilson knew the shop’s founder, Kit Jennison, and is humbled to remember how excited volunteers were when a day’s sales totaled $50 — a number that seems tiny as the Hospice Shop reaches its second million-dollar mark.

Donations to the Hospice Shop stay in the community, supporting families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers who need the love and care of the hospice team. The Hospice Shop sells donated, gently used quality clothing and household items at thrift-store prices.

“The Hospice Shop raises money to support compassionate end-of-life care. Because of the shop’s remarkable success, we are able to provide care to our patients, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay,” said Priscilla Ross, executive director of Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice. “What many people don’t realize about our volunteers is that they, too, have their own stories and reasons for supporting our program. By donating their time, they are making a difference in the lives of the people in our community. We are proud, honored, and thankful that they are part of our caring team.”