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The Client Services team opted to give their time to the St. Mary Advocates Thrift Store as part of the company’s ESM Cares initiative to support the broader Hoboken community. The Client Services team of Shannon Toth, Cara Travaglini and Meghan Galli wanted to help with a cause that aligned with their interests in fashion and clothing.

ESM Cares is an initiative for ESM as a company to give back to the community that hosts us. As an agency that works closely with many nonprofits and charitable groups, we recognize the positive impact that those organizations have on underprivileged populations and want to contribute to the cause. 

St. Mary’s Advocates Thrift Store operates under St. Mary’s Advocates, Inc., a nonprofit corporation that stems from Saint Mary Hospital Women’s Auxiliary, another nonprofit that raised funds and provided volunteers for Saint Mary’s Hospital, which later became Hoboken University Medical Center.  

The Client Services Team met with Sarah, a St. Mary Advocates Thrift Store operational lead, who gave volunteer instruction and a brief history of the thrift store before it opened for the day. 

“Sarah is very passionate about (the store), and wants everybody to have affordable clothing,” said Meghan. “It’s really inspiring, she’s super into it.” 

Sarah started off as a volunteer, but right before COVID she took over the store. She is responsible for the switch to credit card payments as the store was previously cash only, and started its social media pages. 

“She’s updated it a lot in the past few years, and she’s constantly looking to innovate,” said Shannon. 

Shannon, Cara and Meghan spent most of the day sorting through donations. They separated the clothes by condition, season and style. The team hung up any clothes that were in satisfactory condition and in season. 

“They accept all kinds of donations, but things with rips or stains, they’re not going to resell,” Cara said. “They send it across the world to other people that will cut up the fabric and use it for other things like filling for a couch or insulation.” 

The thrift store currently works with two textile recycling companies to ensure that no donations go to waste. St. Mary’s Advocates Thrift Store keeps thousands of pounds of unwanted and unsellable donations out of landfills each year. 

Most items in the store are $6 and under; there are even $1 and $2 bins, but the more expensive clothing pieces are tagged and displayed at the front of the store. Cara came across a never-worn $300 dress that she tagged to sell for $20. 

As a company, ESM gathered old clothing to donate to St. Mary’s Advocates Thrift Store on the day of volunteering. 

“I feel like I always do donation drop-offs scattered around town, I never think to actually bring them to the thrift shop, but it feels nice to know exactly where your clothes are going and that they’ll get a good home someplace else,” Cara said. 

The CS team were able to meet fellow volunteers as well, mostly older women who already knew each other and created a community out of volunteering at St. Mary’s Advocates Thrift Store. 

“I definitely know that I’m going to go back there, even without ESM,” said Meghan. “I just want to volunteer more of my time there, it was awesome.” 

In Q3 of 2023 the Marketing and Reporting and Analytics teams will complete its ESM Cares volunteer project. 

If you’re interested in shopping, donating, volunteering or learning more about St. Mary Advocates Thrift Store, visit the website here.

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ESM Cares is a company-wide volunteer program that will provide our agency team members with the opportunity to donate to and give back to local neighborhoods and organizations. As an agency that serves and works closely with many non-profit organizations, charitable groups, foundations, and other companies that promote the greater good, creating this volunteer initiative seemed inherent to our agency.

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ESM
80 River St 4B
Hoboken, NJ

E: info@electricsymphonymedia.com