When you drive past The Bargain Box on Mount Kemble Avenue in Morristown, you’ll sometimes notice a line of people waiting to get into the charming and welcoming store. There’s a good reason for that and why the thrift shop is described as a boutique with a “Touch of Class.”
“I can't even begin to tell you the variety of goods we have here - from clothing and jewelry to housewares and artwork,” says long-time manager, Maggie Moffitt. “There's something for everybody.”
The store has many repeat customers. “It's just a really happy place,” she says. “People come in and make friends here. They interact with one another, with our volunteers and our staff. We hear repeatedly that when they come into The Bargain Box, they leave their troubles at the door.”
Some customers come in seeking vintage and antique pieces, hard-to-find items or designer brands. At times, merchandise from Tori Burch and Kate Spade, and even Versace, Chanel and Gucci can be found. “We’ve had Christian Louboutin and Prada shoes,” says Maggie. “The quality of what we offer is really quite good.”
Some of the items are brand new and still have tags on them. Since the store is so busy and the inventory changes so quickly, if something isn’t there one day, it may be there the next, so they often tell people to come back soon.
Shopping at The Bargain Box benefits the buyer, of course, but it goes much deeper than that. The store operates as part of the Women's Association for Morristown Medical Center (WAMMC), a volunteer service organization founded in 1893 that raises money to provide many of the extras and/or necessities that make visiting or staying at the non-profit hospital much more pleasant and comfortable.
“The net proceeds from The Bargain Box go through the Women's Association directly to the hospital for whatever projects or programs they're looking to fund,” says Kathy Christie, president of WAMMC. The proceeds from the hospital’s gift shops, which they also run, and a percentage of proceeds from the onsite Starbucks and the Apple Day Café, all go through the Association to the hospital as well.
“They give us a list of wants and needs and we try to provide as much as we can,” she says. “We also have an art exhibit in the main hallway that not only makes the place look better, but also allows artists to show their work. We then get 20% of the sales of that artwork.” The association gives out nursing scholarships too, which also directly benefits patients.
“It's always about the patient experience and the patient outcome,” says Maggie. “And I really think Morristown Medical Center excels in that. I'm very proud to support its work.”
WAMMC has raised over $30 million since 1985, and the Bargain Box alone has contributed $7 million to the Women's Association over the last 22 years. That’s a lot of merchandise!
The Bargain Box also holds multiple events throughout the year. “We have a fur sale every year, and people will come year after year and buy multiple fur coats,” says Gail Decker, a long-time volunteer and WAMMC Board Member. “We also have a St. John Knits event, and a Lilly Pulitzer and Tommy Bahama event.” She says customers can sign up and receive discount cards for the store as well as for the multiple events they hold.
If you’re looking for a great organization with which to volunteer, the Women's Association for Morristown Medical Center will be happy to welcome you as a member. And, of course, donations to The Bargain Box are always appreciated.
For more information, go to wammc.org/bargain-box.