By P.J. Gach


This September and every September we devote our pages to Companies and their charitable affiliations. I know you’ve passed these shops on the street many times, but I wanted to give you more information about thrift stores and the work they do to help fellow New Yorkers. 23rd Street is thrift shop row. One thrift store after another – all supporting worthy causes, but only one supports the Arts.

City Opera Thrift Store takes donations throughout the week. They do have movers for big pieces and if you’re traveling by cab to donate something they will reimburse you.

The shop has two floors; the first is clothing and accessories. The second has furniture, house wares, Books, CD’s and men’s clothes. A complete Mikasa service $90.00, a loveseat goes for $45, lamps start at $25.00.

City Opera Thrift Store 222 E23rd Street, 212-684-5344 Monday through Saturday 10AM – 6PM, Sunday 10AM – 5PM. Website:

Christabelle’s Closet is a New York City based online consignment shop that’s beloved by O magazine. It’s featured in the September issue as one of the top 7 websites to shop. Half of the proceeds from the Clearance Closet go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Housing Works Thrift Shops are all over the city. The proceeds from the sales of all items goes to provide shelter, counseling, medical care and more to people living with HIV and AIDS. They accept gently worn clothing, furniture, bric-a-brac, books, CD’s, jewelry, and appliances. To find a location nearest you go to and yes, they’re always on the lookout for volunteers.

Cancer Care Thrift Shop not only has amazing deals on Chanel flats, but the proceeds from this shop help provide free assistance to people with cancer and their loved ones. They accept everything from home furnishings to books. They do have movers for estates and heavy pieces. And accept donations weekdays. Cancer Care Thrift Shop 1480 2nd Avenue, (between 83rd & 34th) 212-879-9868.Hours – Mon-Tues 11AM- 6PM, Wed – Thurs 11AM-7PM, Friday 11AM – 6PM, Saturday 11AM-4:30PM, Sunday 11:30AM – 5PM. Website:

Just down the block is the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop. They accept everything from household furnishings to art to clothing. When I walked in, they had a table of brand new Belgian Shoes for $95.00 All items are in pristine condition. It was like shopping in a mini Saks. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is one of the city’s and the world’s most renown cancer hospital. Proceeds from this shop go to the hospital. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop 1440 2nd Avenue (near 82nd St), 212-535-1250 Hours: Mon-Friday 11-5:30, Saturday 11-5. Donations Mon-Friday 9:30 – 3PM

I’d like to take this time to pass on some dos and don’ts if you are going to donate an item or a thousand to any of the above mentioned shops. Please remember that any and all items must be resalable. In plain English, if it’s worn out, stained, doesn’t work or smells, trash it. There isn’t a thrift shop in the country that can use a broken anything or torn, ripped, missing buttons etc., clothing or linens. They just throw them out. How do I know? I’ve volunteered for years at thrift shops and had to throw out many unsalable items. If you want to help, but don’t want to donate clothing or household items, volunteer or donate money. But please don’t give them items they can’t use.

You spend your money on cosmetics, clothing and stuff. Where does that money go? You’d think it would go back into the company, right? Well, lots of firms take that money and support charitable organizations.
Lancôme is herding girls into a brighter better future with their Girls Inc. Corporate Camp venture. The international beauty firm has teamed up with Girls Incorporated, a national non-profit organization dedicated to teaching young women, many of them underprivileged, that the world is their oyster. Each summer Lancôme hosts the camp, dubbed “She’s Strong, She’s Smart, She’s Bold, She Shines!” program where fifteen girls from ages 14-18 from all over the country converge in New York City and show them the inner workings of the corporate world and their future possibilities. The girls get unprecedented access to Bloomingdale’s, Teen Vogue and other top industry corporations, including Lancôme. Selection is based on a nationwide competition where the young members of Girls Incorporated are asked to develop a new product targeted to women. To find out more about Girls Incorporated go to their website

e.l.f. eyes.lips.face is working with two charities. They’ve teamed up with WINABC (Win Against Breast Cancer) and created the color therapy program. The program battles the negative psychological effects of breast cancer with their color therapy program. e.l.f and WINABC believe that color therapy (the use of colors to promote a better mental outlook, which in turns aids the healing process) is a very strong tool in promoting wellness. In October, e.l.f. will donate 20% of the proceeds from their Shimmering Facial Whip sales to WINABC and will create and donate special color therapy care packages of their cosmetics that WINABC will in turn disperse to breast cancer patients in inner city hospitals throughout the country. To find out more about WINABC go to their website

The other charity that e.l.f. is working with is High Five Tickets To The Arts ( It’s a non profit organization that wants to make the arts accessible and affordable to teens. Any teen can buy a $5.00 ticket to any museum, film, theater dance, spoken word event in New York City. They have to be between the ages of 13-18 and have a school ID. They can check out anything that’s going on from Off-Broadway to Lincoln Center and everything in between. e.l.f will be donating cosmetics to the organization for goodie bags to the teens.

Tees and casual wear never go out of style. Wildlife Works makes tees and things with a mission. Each time you buy a shirt or anything else by them, and Celebs like Rachel Leigh Cook, Anna Paquin, Britney Spears, Robert Downey Jr., David Allen Grier and more have bought them, the money goes to wildlife preservation. Their first location was in Kenya, where they created an 80,000 acre Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary. Elephants, cheetahs and 46 other large mammals roam freely. They also created and operate an Eco-Factory near the sanctuary where they employ local community members to create some of their products. The sportswear is made from cotton, hemp and other environmentally friendly fabrics. They’ve even gotten kudos from Dr. Richard Leakey. To find out where you can buy Wildlife Works clothing or to find out more about the organization, go to their website

DDF Doctor’s Dermatologic Formula is inviting men and women to fight against breast cancer in October and November, when they will donate a percentage of their profits of Cellular Cleansing Complex to the Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization. Their minimum donation will be $5000.00
Cellular Cleansing Complex is a creamy cleanser, formulated with enzymatic exfoliants that dissolve impurities while nourishing the skin.

Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization provides information and support to those who are battling breast cancer. To find out more about the organization go to their website To buy the Cellular Cleansing Complex or to find out more about DDF go to their website

Christo Fifth Avenue and Christo contribute to many charities in New York and around the world. Christo and the salon have worked with Fashion For A Cause, where all proceeds are donated to the children of India. Christo Fifth Avenue and Christo has donated products and services to City Of Hope, Children’s Blood Foundation, The Rainforest Foundation, Discover The Smile Foundation and New York City’s Public schools. They often provide services including color, cuts and treatments for silent auctions where the proceeds go to charity.

Christo Fifth Avenue
574 Fifth Avenue
5th Floor
New York City 212-997-8800

Charity Vance, the owner of Luscious Cosmetics donates to many local charities in California. Among the charities that she works with is the local chapter of the Assessment and Treatment Center (ASTC). It’s a non-profit that provides family counseling and therapy free to area troubled children and teens and their families. She also is involved with the Friends of San Clemente Animals, the volunteer arm of the non-profit San Clemente-Dana Point Animal Shelter and has worker with the United States Equestrian Foundation. Charity is a dressage rider and recently donated her time to the 2004 US Olympic Dressage Selection Trials in San Juan Capistrano, California. Check out Luscious Cosmetics at supports Girlstart. It’s a non-profit organization created in Austin, Texas in 1997 that empowers girls to excel in math, science and technology. Check out and

There’s a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. In New York City, there are two very determined Grandmothers who are trying to raise a city full of children. Ms. Maxine Joyner and Ms. Sylvia Burns are using their community center in Harlem to create an after school haven for students They run the Arts Program for children on Tuesdays. I’m going to quote Ms. Joyner right now, because she can tell her story better than I can. “….and we will distribute school supplies to the children a few days before school starts. We are not funded by anyone, we are not incorporated. We are just two Grandmothers who are doing what needs to be done in this community…to help people. The economy is bad, and everyone is stressed out, yes, even the kids!

On Tuesdays, we go into the community room and put on some jazz or “oldies” (nothing to offend parents) and lay out checkers, chess, UNO, Old Maid cards, watercolors and paintbrushes, markers, crayons and drawing papers, scissors and ribbons and strings. We let creativity take its course. We also plan special holiday projects. For Easter, we dyed and decorated eggs, and on Mother’s and Father’s Day we made special gifts.

Sometimes the kids stop by my apartment, asking for a particular book or an internet search to help them in their school projects. We intend this year, to stock graphing paper and other odd school supplies like poster boards year-round so when that special project comes around, kids don’t have to journey and search and pay high prices for a few sheets of “special paper”.

Kids also come by to let us know that there may be a problem with them or another child, we try to help in the best way we know how. If we were to ever get incorporated as a non-profit, we would probably call ourselves: “Two Grandmothers, Incorporated”! But that’s expensive and very far down the line.”

These women have been posting on for a month trying to get donations for their flea market which was held in August. They are planning to hold it again if they can’t sell the items that were donated to them on Wednesday September 1st from 5-8 PM. The location of the Flea Market is 1428 Fifth Ave (nr. 116th Street) in Manhattan in our Community Center from 5-8 p.m. New Yorkers were generous and carloads of donations appeared on their doorsteps.

If you would like to donate school or arts supplies, or games, or even help them get that Non-Profit status, or find out if the sale is on September 1st; please email Ms. Joyner at [[email protected]][email protected][/email]. All you need is a pebble to create a far reaching ripple in the pond. A couple of great products are hitting the counters this month, so of course I had to tell you about them…..

Lancôme has just come out with a nifty new moisturizer, Aqua Fusion. It’s never too early to start a good skincare regimen and Aqua Fusion is a moisturizer for women in their twenties. It’s easily absorbed into your skin, no shininess or greasy feel after applying. Works 24-7 and has a patented formula that contains Calcium, Maganese, Zinc, amino acids, organic acids, and water. It’s lightweight, won’t clog pores, has a refreshing scent, and it works for sensitive skin. I like the fact that I had a little glow going on after the first time I tried it. There’s a lotion and a crème. You can pick it up with an SPF 15 or not. Me, I always go for sunscreen. The sun may be your friend, but wrinkles aren’t. We sometimes forget that we live on an island. You know what happens when you’re surrounded by water all the time? Humidity and that means (accidentally) really, really and I do mean really big hair.

The next time you lose the battle with frizzy hair, grab Rene Furterer’s Fioravanti Anti Frizz Silkening conditioner and their Super Shine Straightening Gel. The Silkening Conditioner has Vitamin C and Acerola Acid which helps tame unruly hair. Leave it in for three minutes, and you’ll hear your hair saying, “thank you.” It softens and silkifies your hair. It has a wonderfully light citrus scent; this’ll perk you up immediately. After shampooing, just use a small drop of the Super Shine Straightening Gel. It won’t make your hair stick straight, but it builds on the conditioner, helps battle frizzies and gives your hair a beautiful glossy shine. It also contains Vitamin C, Acerola Acid and is enriched with Guar-gum. Both products made my hair calmer, less frizzy and left a clean, subtle scent behind.

Till next month!

Originally published September 2004



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