The Humane Society of Boulder Valley will be closing its Community Resource Center, including the Thrift Shop and Book & Jewel, on Dec. 13.
The shop has been serving the Boulder community for over 25 years and first started as a tent rummage sale in the early 1980s to raise funds for the humane society, a nonprofit organization that provides safety and protection to animals in need in the community.
The annual sale evolved into a full-time thrift store that resells donated items to help animals and people in the community, Chief Executive Officer Jan McHugh-Smith said, since the nonprofit relies on donations to provide its services, including the shelter and the veterinary clinic.
McHugh-Smith said she and the board of directors made the decision to close the Community Resource Center because of the COVID-19 pandemic after discussing the financial implications of keeping the shop open or closing it. The thrift shop was closed for several months in 2020 and the number of customers allowed in the store was limited after reopening.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic had an impact on our operations,” McHugh-Smith said. “It made it difficult for us to fundraise the level we would like to for the store.”
McHugh-Smith said the shop has raised approximately $2 million over the last 25 years for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. The net income from the shop went into an operating fund that supported the animals, provided medical supplies for veterinary care, and paid for staff and all operations at the Humane Society.
“We’re all really sad that we’re closing the store,” McHugh-Smith said. “Over the years, we’ve built a community of shoppers and people who donate and we’ll miss everybody.”
The Humane Society of Boulder Valley will be focusing on the future and strengthening its fundraising efforts for the animals, McHugh-Smith said.
“We feel that reallocating the resources that we’ve been putting into the store back into more direct fundraising with our community members will help us to grow the organization,” McHugh-Smith said.
Community Resource Manager Bridgette Chesne said one way community members can donate to support the Humane Society is online at bit.ly/3ChRgeD or by mail.
“Using online and social media platforms such as Facebook Marketplace or Nextdoor to sell household items to benefit Boulder’s vulnerable animals is an easy way to raise money and then donate by mailing a check or clicking the link on our website to donate those dollars directly to our programs and services,” Chesne stated in a news release.
The Humane Society also has two major events each year that help raise funds for the animals and the community programs. The largest event of the year is Puttin’ On the Leash, a gala and auction in the spring. The other event is Doggie Dash, a community walk with dogs.
“We are supported by our community, not by national organizations,” McHugh-Smith said. “Our ability to serve 6500 animals a year is only supported through the donations of our community.”
How to help
By mail: Humane Society of Boulder Valley, Philanthropy Department, 2323 55th St., Boulder, CO 80301