COOPERSTOWN, NY: March 28, 2022 – It is common knowledge that profits from the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop are used to care for animals housed at the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA). The store is one of the shelter’s main sources of income.
What many may not realize is that Thrift Shop Manager Natalie Wrubleski is always looking for ways in which the store can assist other community organizations. Her latest partnership is with Utica’s Clothes to Homes Program, which is run by the Utica Center for Development (UCD).
Clothes to Homes accepts all unwanted textile items, and nothing goes to waste. According to the UCD website, “All donations are separated and sorted through by our staff and volunteers. Useable items are distributed throughout our area to assist those in need.” Unusable items are recycled.
“The New Leash on Life Thrift Shop depends entirely on donated merchandise for its inventory of clothing, housewares, and other assorted items, and our community is very generous, for which we are extremely grateful,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes.
“Sometimes we have a surplus of inventory, or we receive textiles that we can’t re-sell, so this new relationship with Clothes to Homes is a win-win for both organizations,” Haynes said.
“We particularly don’t like to see things go to waste. Clothes to Homes recycles unusable textiles in addition to providing clothing to those in need in their community, and we applaud these efforts,” added Wrubleski.
Proceeds from Clothes to Homes help build more affordable housing for area veterans through the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center (CNYVOC), a division of UCD.
UCD Housing Manager Scott Zoeckler and coworker Julio Rodriguez are excited to be making regular stops at the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop.
“Our textile collection has been active for about a year,” said Zoeckler, who also oversees the Clothes to Homes program. “We quickly realized that people have an abundance of clothing to donate, and we found buyers in Canada for unusable clothes and textiles. Our staff sorts through donations – wearable items are provided to the community at no charge and the things we can’t distribute are baled and sold to the recyclers.”
Zoeckler said UCD is currently restoring the former YWCA on Cornelia Street in Utica, the second floor of which will become affordable housing for veterans based on HUD guidelines thanks in part to the Clothes to Homes program.
In addition to the SQSPCA thrift store, the Clothes to Homes truck also makes pickups in Cobleskill and Middleburgh and the CNYVOC collects textiles Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Veteran’s Center at 726 Washington Street in Utica. CNYVOC serves veterans in eight counties and also has facilities in Delaware and Jefferson counties.
The SQSPCA’s New Leash on Life Thrift Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; donations are accepted Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. The thrift store and shelter are located at 5082-5088 State Highway 28, Cooperstown.
In operation since 1917, the Susquehanna SPCA is a 501c3 nonprofit organization committed to caring for homeless, surrendered, and seized companion animals and finding them loving, forever homes. The SQSPCA is a privately funded, state inspected animal shelter practicing “no-kill” philosophies. Private donations, grants, fundraising and the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop are the shelter’s primary source of income. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org