Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Sept. 22, 2020

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Humane Society’s ReTails Store ready for the holidays

Store-within-a-store proceeds go to food and care for shelter animals

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
5 Photos
A Christmas Tail, a holiday store-within-a-store, opened at ReTails Thrift Store in Vancouver this month.
A Christmas Tail, a holiday store-within-a-store, opened at ReTails Thrift Store in Vancouver this month. (Ariane Kunze/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

With the holiday shopping season around the corner, the Humane Society for Southwest Washington once again hopes the spirit of giving makes its way to thousands of homeless and abused animals.

ReTails Thrift Store, run by the organization, opened its holiday store-within-a-store, A Christmas Tail, last week. The section has quietly opened in the back of ReTails for the past three years with a trove of holiday items.

Customers will spot A Christmas Tail by its red curtain. Items inside range from the usual, such as lights, wreaths and garlands, to niche Santa Clause cross-stitchings and Christmas Tree-shaped cake pans.

“We get anything from ornaments to lighted Christmas trees to collectible items,” said Paul MacKay, a vice president with the Humane Society for Southwest Washington. “When you come in, it’s all organized. Often times with a thrift store it’s just stuff laid out on a table or in bins. Here it’s organized. It looks like what you’d see at a department store.”

Proceeds from ReTails and A Christmas Tail benefit the 8,000-plus homeless and abused animals the Humane Society cares for every year. Spokeswoman Denise Barr said sales mainly pay for adoption services, food and medical care.

Nellie Peebles of Vancouver carried three ornaments on her fingers as she said she bought most of her clothes from ReTails for the prices and to benefit animals.

“They’re giving pets-in-need a second chance,” she said. “You can get cool, vintage stuff, and you’re helping the Humane Society. And you’re keeping things out of the landfill when you buy used.”

The organization sold about 27,000 holiday items last year. The store accumulates holiday-related goods for various reasons throughout the year, and volunteers set them aside for A Christmas Tail’s opening.

“You might need a Christmas tree, you might need a wreath, you might need a centerpiece for your table. Or all of the above,” Barr said.

The sheer volume on the back shelves means a customer may not recognize the store the second time they come in, she said.

ReTails and A Christmas Tail are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The store has been at 5000 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd. in Vancouver since 2014. More information is available at southwesthumane.org/retails-thrift-store.

The Humane Society is at 1100 N.E. 192nd Ave.

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