St. Vincent de Paul in Oshkosh celebrates 55 years of helping the community

Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 3:56 PM CST
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Oshkosh is celebrating a milestone anniversary this month.

It was 55 years ago, in January of 1966, when the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store first opened in Oshkosh. According to longtime volunteer John Feldner, “That first day they only sold 50 cents worth of stuff.”

Five plus decades and four locations later, the shop is definitely more profitable in its 40,000 square foot space, but the mission remains the same.

“When it opened they wanted to provide financial assistance to the community, which we still do in the form of rental and utility assistance. They wanted to provide clothing, furniture, household items on vouchers for people that are in need and need them and we continue to do that to this day,” says store manager Cyndi Trent.

Even in 2020, when the store closed for a while because of the pandemic, and then saw a decrease in shoppers upon reopening, St. Vincent de Paul in Oshkosh was still able to support the community with more than $300,000 in emergency assistance funds. And that doesn’t even include the partnerships with other organizations in the area to continue to fulfill its mission.

According to Trent, “We’ve been a silent partner in the community for 55 years. We coordinate with Salvation Army, ADVOCAP, Christine Ann Center, Boys & Girls Club, Father Carr’s all to help programs in the community, to help people in need who need it.”

Moving forward, St. Vincent de Paul in Oshkosh wants to become a not-to-silent partner. And, as it celebrates its longevity, both with sales in the store and hopefully a community event this summer, it hopes the community, which has always been so generous with donating items to the store, continues to support the mission.

“There are also things that we need to be done here so that we can continue to provide for the community, roof, parking lot, electrical and we’d like to get our name out there because monetary donations are nice as well,” adds Trent.

Because as long as the need exists, the thrift store in Oshkosh wants to be here there to help.

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