With a mission to help needy, St. Vincent de Paul thrift store officially opens

(from left) Council president Jim Weiss, Bishop Salazar and Father Villarroya participate in the store’s official ribbon cutting.

Story and photo by Neena Strichart

On Pacific Coast Highway, just across the street from Signal Hill, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul celebrated the official grand opening of its new thrift store last Saturday. During the early afternoon ribbon-cutting event, Father Guillermo Rodriguez of St. Matthew Parish in Long Beach addressed the audience and declared: “We are serving the people in need.” Expanding on his sentiments, Council San Pedro District President Cecilia Ordonez said, “We serve everyone– it’s a great honor that we have this store.”
The new thrift store, the former site of Al Greenwood’s Bedspread Kingdom, is located at 2705 Pacific Coast Hwy. Taking part in the festivities, Most Reverend Alexander Salazar, D.D., V.G., Auxiliary Bishop of the San Pedro Pastoral Region, told the receptive crowd, “Let us remember who it is that we are serving…St. Vincent had a heart for the poor.” Following his words, the Bishop, assisted by Reverand Pedro Villarroya, blessed the Long Beach facility’s outdoor patio and interior retail space.
At the conclusion of the blessing, the dignitaries and attendees enjoyed refreshments as well as jazz entertainment provided by the James Gentry Quintet. In addition, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm, all customers received 10 percent off their total purchases.
As reported in a recent press release, “As is the mission of St. Vincent de Paul, the purpose of the new store is to help improve the quality of life for local disadvantaged and working-poor families. Donations of usable appliances, furniture, computers, clothing and more to the Society not only benefit residents seeking everyday items at low prices during these difficult economic times but, during the year, clothing and household items also are given free to local families in extreme need.”

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