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Local non-profit gives back millions to Green Valley community

Local non-profit gives back millions to Green Valley community
Posted at 5:15 PM, Dec 24, 2021

GREEN VALLEY, Ariz. (KGUN) — People come from all over the nation to stop by one thrift store in Green Valley. The non-profit store has been open for 57 years and is a popular spot for special Christmas finds.

“Woven placemats, unstained, four of them for a dollar,” said Patricia Hayden Kurt, a customer.

The deals at the White Elephant Thrift Store in Green Valley get customers excited.

“I can come here and decorate my house on the cheap and its fun, the hunt is fun," Hayden Kurt said.

The store’s general manager says this, alongside the quality of their items, is the reason people keep coming back.

“We’re like kind of a tourist attraction now," said Karen Lavo, General Manager. "People know all about us. The first 20 people in line everyday are the same people.”

The White Elephant is open six days a week for only three hours. And yet, it still gets almost a thousand customers a day.

“It’s just a phenomenon because we make so much money and give so much back to the community,” said Pamela Pickford, a volunteer.

It’s a non-profit, so all the revenue except for operating costs goes back into the community. In 2019, the store distributed $1.7 million to more than 100 local schools and charity organizations. This year, the store was closed for three months and still made $1.3 million.

“The whole community really profits from it," Lavo said. "Everybody gets a deal.”

The store is closed for the holidays until January 2nd, but you can go to their eBay for Charity page for deals on special antiques.