Philly AIDS Thrift is expanding store in Queen Village

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As people celebrate Pride Month, Action News is shining a spotlight on people and places around the region that are making a tremendous impact on the LGBTQ community.

In Queen Village, a secondhand store is expanding its space at a critical time.

Philly AIDS Thrift is not only a community staple but a force when it comes to fundraising in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Just in time for Pride Month, they've announced they are expanding, taking over the whole space now at 5th and Bainbridge streets.

They're doing some fun fundraising to get it up and running.

Wednesday, was a fabulous night of film and fundraising at the Navy Yard, a drive-in conjunction with the Philadelphia Film Society.

"We raise money to give away to services and programs for people living with HIV and AIDS across the Delaware Valley," said Michael Byrne, the president of the board of directors for Philly AIDS Thrift.

And they do it one t-shirt and one tchotchke at a time.

"To date, we've given over $3.5 million away just by selling t-shirts, and dishes and bric-a-brac," Byrne added.

And that bric-a-brac and other donations are now getting some much-needed extra space.

Right now, Philly AIDS Thrift is expanding its facility by adding 4,000 square feet to make way for a new donation center.

"The proceeds will be used to build out the new space, so we will have additional sale space and a dedicated receiving area for the many donations from incredibly generous people," said Byrne.

Those gently used items get sold at the store at 5th and Bainbridge streets, but the money raised makes a tremendous impact across Philadelphia.

"This past year, we gave 25 different grants to 25 different organizations that provide programs and services for people affected by HIV and AIDS," Byrne said.
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