There is a row of buildings on the south side of N. 45th that I think of as “Bungalow Row”, some older houses that have been converted into new purposes. These include the Chile Pepper Mexican restaurant, and the recently departed much renowned, and already much missed Tilth. Nestled in at 1415 N. 45th is a longtime Wallingford presence, the Assistance League of Seattle Thrift Shop. This unassuming little secondhand store has a heart of gold that benefits the local community and the city at large. Unlike other area thrift stores that are part of much larger nonprofit and for-profit organizations, the Assistance League of Seattle returns every dollar earned back to the Seattle community through philanthropic programs focused on removing barriers to education for at-risk and disadvantaged students of all ages. This year alone, the Assistance League provided 3,475 gift cards ($125) to Seattle Public School (SPS) students to purchase brand new clothes, food, and hygiene supplies. This support is accomplished in partnership with the SPS Family Support Program, Mary’s Place, Solid Ground, and others.
Circumstances and the recent months have not been kind to our charitable neighbor. The COVID-related closure of retail and two recent burglaries were serious blows to the viability of the store and its mission of community support. Because of the recent strains, the Thrift Shop has not been able to meet its revenue goals for supporting the needs in the community. Wallyhood recently heard from one of the volunteers from the Assistance League asking for a little visibility, and we are happy to comply. While they are always looking for new members, volunteers, and community partnerships, a good place to start out is by visiting the shop and doing what comes naturally for many of us: shopping; and in addition, donating items. More information on the Assistance League and what it does in the community can be found at https://www.assistanceleague.org/seattle/news/. The web page for the Thrift Shop itself listing hours of operation and how to donate (now that we are all busily spring cleaning) can be found at https://www.assistanceleague.org/seattle/thrift-shop/.