Out of the Closet Thrift Stores has been a source of clothing, books, fabrics and canvases to me for over four years. As an artist, I’ve often had to make decisions that involve either buying daily necessities such as food or giving in to desires to buy tools for a current project. Out of the Closet Thrift Store is just a few blocks away from where I live. I visit the store once a week to explore the $1 clothing specials, peruse the book shelves and shoes and search for fabrics or surfaces that can be included in a new piece of art. Frequently I find more books that I’d like to read than I can carry and ultimately leave the store empty-handed. But days often come where I find exactly the sweater or shoes that I had envisioned or just the perfect book. Then I leave the store pleased with my purchase and glad to have given money to a worthy cause.
Out of the Closet thrift stores are a nonprofit chain of thrift stores whose revenues provide medical care for patients with HIV/AIDS. There are currently 13 stores in California. The chain is owned and operated by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a Los Angeles-based global organization that provides medical, preventative, and educational resources for patients. AHF is the nation's largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare, research, prevention, and education provider. Out of the Closet thrift stores generate income to help fund the medical services AHF provides for those patients who are unable to pay. Proceeds from Out of the Closet Thrift Stores directly benefit AHF.
The store's merchandise comes directly from donations. Donations can be made all-year around. But, the holiday season is certainly a good time to purge one’s closets and rooms for articles that are no longer needed. Merchandise sold includes adult and children’s clothing, electronics, furniture, bric-a-brac, jewelry, handbags, shoes, and books. There is no volunteer program, but one can donate money in lieu of time. Clothing, household items, etc. can be donated at a neighborhood Out of the Closet store. One can also donate large items like furniture by filling out a form on the Out of the Closet website/donations page. Or -- Call the Donation Pickup
Hotline: (877) 2-PICK-IT-UP Proceeds go to AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Some other services provided by Out of the Closet thrift stores include free, confidential HIV and STD testing and prescriptions filled at the pharmacy while one shops.
While doing your holiday shopping, give back some clothing or furniture you no longer need and shop for personal gifts. In the process, you will meet meet friendly shoppers and merchants and know that your donations and money will be thoroughly utilized to help the life of an HIV/AIDS patient.
Peace and good health to all!