Residents looking for a bargain in Ascension Parish have a new place to pick up household items and clothes at discounted prices.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has opened a thrift store at 1402 N. Burnside Ave., Suite C-1, Gonzales.
The Catholic charity’s Baton Rouge chapter celebrated the store’s grand opening April 23 with Ascension Parish business leaders, elected officials and shoppers seeking deals.
During a prayer at the store’s grand opening, Michael Acaldo, St. Vincent de Paul’s director, thanked God for allowing the organization “to live our vision and our mission of serving Christ.”
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides meals, clothing and services, such as school uniform donations and prescription medicine, to community members in need, Acaldo said.
The thrift store, St. Vincent de Paul’s first in Ascension Parish, is a way to expand the organization’s services outside Baton Rouge and in a “visible and permanent location,” Acaldo said.
“We’re hoping that individuals throughout not only Gonzales but in the entire Ascension Parish will support the thrift store by providing items and donating clothing and furnishings that we’ll need in order to be a success in the community,” Acaldo said.
The 6,000-square-foot space offers the usual standards of a thrift store: housewares, glassware, furniture and clothing. “Just the things people need to live and survive,” Acaldo said.
After store expenses, proceeds will go toward providing other forms of assistance to those in need, Acaldo said.
Ascension Parish residents seemed pleased with the store’s opening.
“We’re so excited you’re here,” Sherrie Despino, Ascension Chamber of Commerce president, told Society of St. Vincent de Paul members during the grand opening ceremony.
Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux also expressed his gratitude to the organization for traveling to Ascension Parish.
“We certainly appreciate you coming to Gonzales,” Arceneaux said.
Beverly and Edmar Mayard, of Prairieville, stopped by the store a day before the grand opening and decided against purchasing some pictures.
But they returned the following day and found the pictures were still for sale — and a grand opening party was taking place.
The Mayards bought the pictures, plus a few other items, and Beverly complimented the Society of St. Vincent de Paul on running a clean and organized store.
“We usually find something we can use,” Beverly Mayard said.
The thrift store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and a drop box for donated goods is behind the store.