With their bargain prices, funky finds, and underlying emphasis on recycling, thrift stores have long served an important social mission. But that still wasn’t enough for one Tennessee thrift store, which vowed to donate 100 percent of its profits to animal rescue!
James and Kellie Vanderbloom, the owners of Happy Tails Fur-Ever Thrift Store in Smyrna, Tennessee, have rescued, fostered, and rehabilitated over 100 animals in the past two decades. This latest business venture is just another way to support their lifelong mission.
Kellie first came across the idea while on a vacation, where she wandered into a Florida thrift store donating proceeds to needy animals. A lifelong animal lover, Vanderbloom, who already lives with five dogs and a cat, decided to take the concept one step further. “Every dime that comes into this store will be donated,” Kellie told the Daily News Journal.
Of course, such an admirable effort – which helps support 8 local rescues and counting – leaves the couple in need of alternate income. As such, Kellie relies on family and volunteers to run the store while she works in dentistry full-time.
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“This has always been my passion,” she said. “I’m the one that cries at the commercials when animals are in cages.” (We do, too!)
If you live nearby, please consider supporting Happy Tails Fur-Ever Thrift Store with donations of time, sellable goods, and/or money. If that’s not possible, you can support the non-profit’s overall mission by fostering shelter animals or donating/ volunteering at an animal rescue near you.
J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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