Volunteers of America Closes Wilkes-Barre Thrift Store


Volunteers of America Family Thrift Store is Permanently Closed

WILKES-BARRE, Pa., May 29, 2020—Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania (VOAPA) is shuttering its Family Thrift Store in Wilkes-Barre.

After being a staple in the community for 12 years, the 26,500 square-foot store at 400 S. Main will not reopen, VOAPA announced Friday. The thrift store closed its doors on March 14, per the government’s mandate for non-essential businesses.

“It was important to us that the Thrift Store inventory and assets continue to be used to support households in Pennsylvania,” said Jodina Hicks, the organization’s president. “The entire inventory has been donated to partner thrift stores in Pennsylvania that serve the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable people.”

Employees impacted by the closure will have the option to be trained by the organization to be in-home workers, support staff, and/or drivers for people who need assistance to live independently. “Our employees are our most valuable asset and we plan to provide other opportunities within VOAPA,” added Jane Merolla, Regional Director.

The decision to close does not impact the other programs operated by VOAPA, including Dial-A-Driver, Manna House, Ruth’s Place, Give Hope and Caring Alternatives, to name a few. “The doors of the thrift store are closed but we remain open and committed to the individuals, families and community in Luzerne County and beyond, said Hicks.

“We are especially committed to pivoting our services so we can support the most vulnerable, especially in the face of COVID-19, by growing our team of in-home care workers and drivers so people in the Northeast can live in their homes with support, rather than having to move to care or congregate settings. Our goal is to grow the number of people we can help live independently, especially those with intellectual, physical, or mental disabilities and seniors (driving only), so they can be free to choose where and how they live.”

For more information about Volunteers of America Pennsylvania’s programs, visit www.voapa.org.