The Sharon Bargain Barn, a venerable institution, is closing at the end of December. An announcement sent to its volunteers by the Health Care Auxiliary Board, the 501c.3 that administers the thrift shop, announced that the board is disbanding.
“The Bargain Barn we are sad to say, will be closing after 50 plus years as the area’s truly distinctive thrift and vintage shop. Efforts to find another non-profit to manage the business were not successful. The Bargain Barn will close to the public in mid-December,” says the letter signed by HCA President Harriet Weiss who has resigned along with other members of the board.
Bargain Barn Director, Susan Leslie stated: “It is with great sadness and frustration that we must announce that our parent organization, the Health Care Auxiliary, is suddenly disbanding and we are losing our 501c3 status. We are heart broken for the Bargain Barn was well-beloved, very profitable and a self-sustaining organization. Without the non-profit status we have no recourse but to close the memorable organization. All tax-exempt donations for 2015 will be honored. We are no longer open to donors, only to customers Tuesday through Saturday through mid-December. The final notification to us was swift.”
Many volunteers in the area are also deeply dismayed. One of them, Amenia Town Supervisor, Victoria Perotti, told us, “I have been a volunteer on Saturdays for 10 years. The closing of the Bargain Barn deals a crushing blow to all of the people who shop there. The profit from the Bargain Barn is what has funded hundreds of thousand dollars of scholarships for nursing students over many years. Many families depend on the Bargain Barn for clothing, kitchen items, books, and many other household items when dollars have to be stretched to pay for everything else. The only way it can be saved is for another 501c.3 non-profit to step up and take the Bargain Barn under its wing.”
The other entities that were administered by the Health Care Auxiliary will be administered by other organizations, the management of the Gazebo Gift Shop will be taken over by Sharon Hospital and the Cancer Survivor Celebration will be taken over by the Salisbury Nurses Association. The Health Care Professionals Scholarship Fund will be administered by the Connecticut Northwest Community Foundation but will no longer receive funds from the Bargain Barn.