census 2020

Stop by most Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon and “find everything from a jar of rocks to burlesque knee highs.”

Photo: Red Door Thrift Shop in Troy Hill is located in the basement of Grace Lutheran Church. By Ashlee Green

By Hallie Lauer

census 2020

Tucked away in the basement of the Grace Lutheran Church in Troy Hill is the Red Door Thrift Shop. Racks of clothing and shelves of household items line its walls with the promise that customers won’t leave empty-handed. 

The shop accepts many different types of donations, making the selection large despite the small space it occupies. Typically the donations include: clothing for men, women, and children, household goods, artwork, books, and other miscellaneous pieces.

“You’ll find everything from a jar of rocks to burlesque knee highs,” said Red Door volunteer, Lenore Zotter. Zotter is one of four volunteers that help out at the thrift shop.


Red Door reopened on Jan. 11 after being closed for the holiday season, and the shop’s volunteers came back to new donations—mostly winter clothing and household goods. 

Every couple of weeks, the shop will clean out their surplus, which they then donate to the Veteran’s Affairs, through the Vietnam Veterans of America pickup system. All of the proceeds from the thrift shop go to Grace Lutheran Church; the shop is currently saving to have the roof of the church redone and to remodel the kitchen.

Red Door Thrift Shop previously attempted being open on Tuesdays in addition to Saturdays, but ultimately, the week day wasn’t busy enough. 

According to Red Door volunteers, some of their busiest days are Saturdays, when the store hours overlap with the rummage sale put on by a neighboring church. Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish hosts what they call the “Hidden Treasure Rummage Sale” once a month throughout the year. The dates for 2020 have not been announced yet. 

The volunteers at Red Door say that the rummage sale brings people from other neighborhoods to Troy Hill.

The clothing starts at 50 cents, and after that, “everything else is negotiable,” said Zotter.

Red Door Thrift Shop will frequently donate items to people in the neighborhood who may be financially struggling or have fallen under hard times.

Red Door’s hours sometimes overlap with the monthly “Hidden Treasure Rummage Sale” put on by neighboring church, Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish. Those Saturdays are the busiest ones. Photo by Ashlee Green

“Anybody who is in hardship, we’ll give you stuff,” said Barb Donaghey, another volunteer.

Donaghey also mentioned that in the past, the shop has given various items to students who are going away to college and may be in a situation where money is tight, as well as people who may be leaving a marriage and starting a new life.

The volunteers say that Red Door is a great way to continue to engage with the community: They have been doing it for over 30 years.

“People come up and look around. We get to know the neighbors,” said Zotter.

Red Door Thrift Shop is always taking donations, which can be left at the front door. They do not accept electronics or large furniture. The store is closed for holidays, and the fifth Saturday of each month for cleaning. The shop is open nearly every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m and is located at 1701 Hatteras St.

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