For Europeans, charity thrift shops are well-loved retailers. While this model is still relatively unknown in Russia, the appearance of the “Spasibo!” (Thank You!) community has sparked the development of a new movement in this direction. Today, the charity shop Spasibo! brings together active people running innovative social projects. The charity thrift store, Russians are learning, can be an effective model for distributing extra clothes and attracting funding for charitable causes.
Spasibo! has several locations in St. Petersburg, all operating under one simple principle: citizens bring in whatever items in good condition, and afterwards they are sorted and distributed to stores and charities. The project’s team settled on the following “distribution” formula: 90% of all donations are sent off to different kinds of urban charities, and just 10% land on the store’s shelves, where they are resold. Any profits remaining after expenses have been covered are also donated to charity.
User Lakomka shares [ru] her opinion:
Я очень рада, что у нас есть такой замечательный магазин. Обязательно внесу свой скромный вклад в его деятельность, ведь после того, как делаешь добро, на душе становиться тепло и хорошо! =)
Promoting the idea of charity shops across country, the Spasibo! project has helped several other stores open outside central Russia. The project’s directors are ready to provide all possible assistance to anyone interested.
Spasibo! is engaged in cultural, educational, and environmental initiatives, including training volunteers, creating projects, and enlisting interns.
Spasibo!’s activities occur in real-time. The project’s website provides online support for the store, and is accompanied by a mobile app. Spasibo!’s site is a place where users can find exhaustive information about the charity thrift store model, find out more about any news concerning the project, and see its future events calendar.