Second Chance thrift shops are incredibly fortunate to have the support of our generous community. We receive multitudes of donated goods, and by reselling them we’re able to fund a significant portion of our work. Our shops allow us to rescue, educate, and serve pets and people in the counties we serve and beyond.

We can’t predict what will come into our donation center, so we’re bound to have weeks where we are inundated with, say, men’s pants, kids’ boots, bath towels, women’s jackets, or who-knows-what. When we cannot resell a good, usable item, we get creative. Oh, and we also call Sveri.

Sveri Stomsta May has been described as a force of nature. She’s a Ridgway resident who has dedicated her life to helping others and teaching kids the value of volunteering. May organized the local PeaceJam clubs in Ouray County. Previously, she led a PeaceJam Club in Kalamazoo, MI beginning in 20003. PeaceJam is a global organization with chapters in high schools, churches, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc. around the world. Led by advisors and with Nobel Peace laureates, PeaceJam creates opportunities for volunteer service for students. Sveri says, “I love Second Chance. The donations that come from the shop make a huge difference for those who are struggling in our community, in the four corners area, and beyond.”

Working with our Ridgway Thrift Shop and other donors, Sveri and the PeaceJam kids recently collected, sorted, counted, and delivered 5,136 items of clothing to the Ute and Navajo reservations in Towaoc and Shiprock. Items were also delivered to White Mesa, Haven House, The San Miguel Resource Center, and Abraham Connection.

“Second Chance is so proud to be working with organizations like PeaceJam and, by association, people like Sveri. Together, animal welfare and other non-profit organizations can make a huge difference for communities throughout the region,” says Nicholas Gilman, Executive Director of Second Chance Humane Society.

Sharon House, an adult outreach worker at the Ute Mountain Ute Social Services Center in Towaoc says the donations are very much appreciated and needed. The tribes need ongoing support, which is in the plan for Sveri. PeaceJam and Sveri are working with CJ Brafford at the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose to organize a food and toy drive, as well as planning future deliveries of clothing, shoes, and home goods from Second Chance, other community members, and Ridgway School students.

Second Chance has sent other donations to the reservations in the past, including clothes, household goods, coats, and children’s books. Our thrift shop has an ongoing cache of items to send, as we are committed to helping now and in the future.

Going into the winter months, we continue to encourage donations of clean, quality, sellable items to our thrift shops. We appreciate it so much and do our best to resell or pass along everything useful. Our “overstock” items could also end up at Haven House, Abraham House, San Miguel Resource Center, Dolphin House, and other local organizations that serve those in need.