Coupon books and discount fliers litter campus. Tacked to bulletin boards, stacked on random tables and tucked in every pamphlet in sight, discounts grab students’ attention. Murray State is addicted to good deals.
Angels Attic Thrift Shop is aware students, along with the rest of Murray’s population, love a deal, and it has been using that awareness for 10 years to benefit the local Angels Community Clinic.
“Our main purpose is to raise funds through donated items to fund the Angels Community Clinic,” Mike Crook, store manager from Murray, said.
This year Angels Attic celebrates 10 years of helping Angels Community Clinic register more than 27, 527 total patient visits for the working uninsured. In celebration, Angels Attic took a day in July to throw what some would call a party.
“We had Froggy 103.7 here,” Crook said. “We had two cakes, food, punch and that kind of thing. We really dressed up the whole deal by doing some PR, handing out gift certificates and all kinds of stuff. We had fun with it.”
The celebration was not just for the 16 full-time and part-time workers, 35 active volunteers or even the short- term volunteers from Murray State or local high schools. This 10-year celebration was for the entire community of Calloway County, and everything they have done over the past decade.
“Most of what we sell is all donated by the good people here in Murray and Calloway County,” Crook said. “We’ve had a great opportunity to do a lot of different things, and Murray and Calloway County have been very supportive of the attic. They continue to be supportive.”
Angels Attic finds support from all over western Kentucky, but Murray State plays a big role for local non-profits, as well.
“This past month we had a lot of (Murray State students) come in and buy our rugs and furniture,” Crook said. “We have a lot of students come in at the end of the semester that want to donate their stuff. We are even set up with the Youth and Non-Profit Leadership program, and they send students here to do service projects all the time. We have a team of three that will be coming in Saturday to put together over 200 Christmas trees.”
Selling everything from furniture and clothing to seasonal items like Halloween costumes and Christmas trees, Angels Attic is another place to look for dorm room accessories and toga party sheets.
“We sell just about anything,” Crook said, smiling, “Furniture, appliances, clothing, shoes, belts, purses, toys, books and all other media, household items, and other knick knacks.”
This thrift shop is not solely a place to look for 80s costumes and ugly Christmas sweaters. Angels Attic avoids being deemed a “junk store.”
“The thing is, we are very meticulous about what we put out there. We want to be as near as we can to upscale. We have a lot of new stuff with labels, we have a lot of brand names—Aeropostale, Abercrombie and Fitch, you name it. Even for guys, Brooks Brothers suits and shirts brand new. We’ve got some pretty good deals out there,” Crook said.
Henry Rogers, sophomore, has lived in Murray for as long as Angels Attic has been open.
“I can’t really remember it not being there,” Rogers said. “I usually will go there maybe once a month or more because it seems like that gives them plenty of time to process the “new” used things that people are bringing.”
Rogers and Crook agree the items people donate to Angels Attic can be pretty amazing.
“We had a 1923 player piano that (someone brought in) and that was awesome,” Crook said, “And as a musician and someone who used to restore furniture, I almost bought it myself to restore. It was so nice, and that shocked me. Two weeks ago I had someone who gave me a minivan, I mean, it had 200,000 miles on it, but to be that old it was nice! We even got a boat one time.”
Walking into Angels Attic is a different experience from week to week, from the clothing in the front to the couches in the back of the store, Crook said.
“When I go out there, I’ll say, ‘I can’t believe someone donated that!’ I’ve said that a thousand times and that’s what makes it so fun. There’s always something different, and I love it,” Crook said.
Some of the Angels Attic customers know exactly what they are looking for when they walk through the doors. Rogers has even developed his own system.
“The first thing I always check out is to see what suits they have in because something about vintage suits and stuff like that is really cool to me,” Rogers said. “I’ve bought seven suits from there now, and they sell them for all of five dollars, or three dollars if you just get a jacket. That’s the first thing I go and look at, and for whatever reason, every suit I’ve bought there fits me absolutely perfect, they’re just perfect suits. Then I look at their ties because they have ties for ten cents, which is crazy, and I love ties. Another one of the big things I’ll look at is their book section.”
The system Angels Attic has works for local Murray residents, Murray State students, volunteers and staff members that work there, Crook said.
“We sell so cheap, and people know it,” Crook said. “That’s why they’re lined up here every day to get bargains. I’ve never seen a place like this, and what I like about it is that it’s always different. Something’s going on all the time.”
Said Rogers: “I would recommend everybody appreciate the stuff they do. Go check it out every once in awhile. It supports Angels Clinic, it’s local, and it’s an awesome place.”
Story by Maddie Mucci, Staff writer.