PHOENIX -- The Arizona Humane Society is getting ready to open its fourth thrift store and it needs your help to stock it.
The newest addition to the AHS thrift stores is located on Cave Creek Road north Sweetwater Avenue, which is a popular area for thrift shoppers. It is scheduled to open in mid-March, but the organization is already collecting donations to fill the 11,000-square-foot space.
The first AHS thrift store opened in 1963. It was the only store for decades. The Tempe location opened nearly 50 years later in November 2011.
AHS opened its biggest thrift store at 43rd Avenue and Camelback Road in July, less than a year ago.
Because AHS is funded solely by donors, the nonprofit relies on its thrift stores to help generate the money it needs to take care of the 44,000 animals that come through its doors every year. The average cost of care for a single healthy animal is about $315. That's just for the basics -- food and water, vaccinations and spay or neuter surgery.
AHS also takes in sick and injured animals, many of which need special care that can run into the thousands of dollars.
"Our trauma center is there for homeless pets. There is no owner paying the bill, but we have amazing community supporters and donors," AHS spokeswoman Bretta Nelson explained at the beginning of last summer's Project 121 fundraiser. "They are really what sustain us. We are a non-profit organization. We could not care for the 44,000 animals who come in without [the help]."
Like the annual Project 121 event, the thrift stores helps raise those essential dollars.
"Arizona Humane Society's thrift store proceeds extend our ability to rescue, shelter, heal, adopt and advocate for animals in our community," AHS President and CEO Dr. Steven R. Hansen said."The opening of our fourth Valley thrift store on Cave Creek near Cactus supports this strategy."
By 2016, the Cave Creek Road thrift store is expected to generate $175,000 a year. That money, like the revenue from the other three stores, will support the life-saving services and programs AHS offers.
With about six week to go until opening day, AHS is turning to the public for help stocking the store.
Donations of new of gently used furniture, clothes and household items will not only be gratefully accepted, AHS will even save you a trip by picking them up. If you have at least two boxes or two bags, call 480-290-0587 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements. Pickups are done on a first-come, first-served basis.
All AHS asks is that you check your donations to make sure everything is usable and in good working order.
"Whether donating clothing, furniture or other items to, or shopping at Arizona Humane Society thrift stores, you are making a difference in the life of a homeless animal," Nelson said. "Store purchases are tax-free and donations are tax-deductible. Profits from these operations directly fund our life-saving programs which is a win-win for everyone."
To learn more about AHS and the pets in its care, visit azhumane.org.
Current AHS thrift stores
AHS Sunnyslope Thrift Store
1311 W. Hatcher Road
Phoenix, AZ 85021
Open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.and Sunday, Noon-4 p.m.
AHS Tempe Thrift Store
755 W. Baseline Road
Tempe, AZ 85283
Open daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Donations bins also on site for after-hour drop off of items.
Camelback Thrift Store
4240 W. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85019
Open daily, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.