SUMMIT, NJ - The Hyde and Watson Foundation has presented the Junior League of Summit (JLS) with a $5,000 grant, funds that will be directed to the recently-completed excavation, underpinning and expansion of the JLS Thrift Shop's basement. The project created additional storage space for donations received by the Thrift Shop. The project began in the summer and lasted through the fall.

The Hyde and Watson Foundation also supported a major renovation of the Thrift Shop in 2015. Revenue generated by Thrift Shop supports the JLS initiatives, grants and scholarships awarded to community organizations and individuals.

The Hyde and Watson Foundation supports organizations focused on education, social services, arts, health, religion, and humanities, helping to fund capital projects related to the construction or purchase of new facilities, building renovations and improvements, purchase of capital equipment and furnishings, and other one-time capital needs.

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The Thrift Shop is located at 37 Deforest Avenue and accepts donations each week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9:30 a.m. to  2:30 p.m., Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Thrift Shop was established in 1934 and offers new and gently used clothing and shoes for men, women and children, toys, decorative items for the home, housewares, and furniture that is deeply discounted. It is the primary fundraiser for the Junior League of Summit and has provided the resources for the League’s many grants, projects, programs, and scholarships over the years. Since its inception, the Shop has raised more than $3 million to benefit Summit and surrounding communities.

Earlier this year, the Junior League awarded more than $65,000 in grants and scholarships, which is in addition to the funds provided to support the League’s signature outreach initiative 'Giving and Receiving Assistance for our Community Essentials' (GRACE).

Thrift Shop manager Marie Avigliano, who joined in 2010, has been instrumental in the Thrift Shop's success, bringing the shop into the 21st century by creating various events and sales incentives throughout the year and increasing revenue by $120,000 during her tenure. The 2015-16 major renovation also played a key role, allowing the staff to sort and process merchandise more efficiently, which has led to increased sales.

“It's super rewarding and heartwarming to have such a great experience at work,” said Avigliano. “I am just grateful to have the opportunity to be connected with the community in the way the Shop connects. We have shared so many experiences with our customers from the birth of a baby to even the loss of some of elderly patrons. It's all very meaningful to me and I feel blessed to be a part of it.”