January 28, 2013
This January, the Philadelphia AIDS Thrift (PAT) store exceeded $500,000 in donations since its founding in 2005. Three recent donations helped the shop reach the milestone -- its monthly $15,000 to the AIDS Fund, plus $10,000 each to the Feast Incarnate Homeless Program in West Philadelphia and the Mazzoni Center's annual coat and gift drive. The AIDS Fund makes use of PAT's monthly donations to distribute money to 30 area HIV/AIDS service organizations.
Manager and PAT co-founder Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou attributed the milestone to shoppers, donors, and volunteers. The PAT store started with just a few helpers, including co-founders Mike Wilson, Peter Heiler, and Tom Brennan, and now has 100 volunteers. Approximately 18 months ago, PAT moved to a new location on South Fifth Street, which proved to be a surprising success. Kallas-Saritsoglou declared, "It was the biggest shock ever. At the old space, we were giving away $8,000 monthly, and now we are giving away $15,000 monthly in the new location. The new location is right around the corner from the old one. But so many people who didn't know we existed now do." PAT hosted a variety of sales from January 25 to 27 to celebrate its latest milestone. The store offered 50 percent off for different items each day and provided free food throughout the weekend. For information about the event, visit www.phillyaidsthrift.com.