When Puyallup resident Victoria Litchfield retired from working at Fred Meyer three years ago, she found herself spending her time volunteering at Grannies’ Attic Thrift Shop in Puyallup.
“I told myself when I retired, I was going to do (service) in the community,” she said.
When she heard that proceeds from Grannies’ Attic went to benefit programs and patients of Good Samaritan Hospital, it struck a chord with Litchfield, a former Buckley preschool teacher.
Proceeds made from Grannies’ Attic Thrift Shop in Puyallup support patients and programs at Good Samaritan Hospital.
“Knowing that it was going to the hospital — knowing it was going to help children… It really helps our community,” Litchfield said.
Tucked into the Valley Plaza Shopping Center at 1327 E. Main in Puyallup, Grannies’ Attic Thrift Shop opened its doors in 2004.
The shop started as a rummage sale in 2000, put on by members of MultiCare’s Celebrate Seniority, a program that “actively supports members 55 and better through health prevention and community connection.”
The members found items in their homes that they could sell to raise money, and slowly, the idea grew.
“They got really passionate about it and they saw they could do other things to support the hospital,” Celebrate Seniority supervisor Deborah Gurney said.
The group took on the name Grannies’ Attic after visiting another Granny’s Attic in Vashon.
“They’re all older adults, so they loved that name,” store coordinator Zana Lee said.
70 volunteers at Grannies’ Attic
Now, more than 70 people volunteer at the thrift shop, and almost all of them are between the ages of 65 and 90. Some volunteers joke that Grannies’ Attic is the “Nordstrom of thrift stores.” Donors drop off their donations at the back of the shop, where volunteers sort through materials for “gently-used” items they can sell. These items range anywhere from kids toys and clothes to kitchenware and home decor. Volunteers even go the extra mile to clean items and wash and iron the clothes they receive.
“They take so much pride in how nice the store looks,” Lee said.
The shop raised more than $2 million for Good Samaritan since its inception. The money helps support programs and projects in the hospital, as well as families to offset therapy costs and special equipment. Over the past five years, $350,000 was raised to support Good Samaritan’s Children’s Therapy Unit.
$2 millionraised to support Good Sam since the shop’s inception
Ninety-one-year-old Alice O’Shea is a 19-year volunteer with Grannies’ Attic and Celebrate Seniority and started as a volunteer at the gift shop in Good Samaritan Hospital. When she started volunteering at Grannies’ Attic, she loved meeting local people and seeing children come into the store.
The volunteers always let the customers know who they’re supporting.
“They’re delighted that it goes to something good and that it stays in the area,” said Carol Rawllins, a six-year volunteer.
Sales at the store have also increased 8 percent in 2017.
Thanks to community donors, Lee added, the shop has received more donations that “transcend the ages.” There’s a more diverse collection of items, including technology and men’s clothing.
“It’s brought a lot of people in that don’t normally shop with us,” Lee said.
Volunteers will also share stories of the people who stop by to donate. Sometimes, donors are local families whose children directly benefited from programs that Grannies’ Attic supports.
“It makes me want to cry every time,” Lee said.
Gurney and Lee said that they’re looking to expand Grannies’ Attic in the future. The shop is always looking for new volunteers. To apply, visit the shop or go online at waystohelp.multicare.org.
Grannies’ Attic is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Donation hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.