TAMPA - You may know me as the traffic reporter for the ABC Action News morning show, and as my Twitter alter-ego, @TampaBayTraffic. What you may NOT know is that I am a die-hard barganista when it comes to my wardrobe; I never met a bargain rack I didn't like!
In support of the ABC Action News Taking Action Against Domestic Violence campaign, I'm planning to put my knack for finding a great deal to good use via "Taking Action With Fashion!" For the six weeks of our campaign, I'll go "shopping" for clothing and accessories from three Tampa Bay area thrift stores that support domestic violence shelters, education, prevention and recovery programs. I'll wear many of the items on the morning show.
Also, each time I wear an article of clothing, a pair of shoes or an accessory from one of the thrift stores, I'll post a photo with the info on where I got it/them. You'll be able to purchase those items at the stores where I found them, or go find your own chic wardrobe additions. The goal is to drive up business at these great shops, because the money they raise will stay here in the Tampa Bay area, and will help those impacted by domestic violence.
The participating thrift shops include:
The Spring of Tampa Bay Boutique, 3418 Swann Ave., Tampa
- The Spring is Hillsborough County's only certified Domestic Violence Prevention and Emergency Shelter Agency. The Spring emergency shelter provides a safe haven for families utilizing an empowerment-based approach. The Spring Outreach Program works with survivors who are living in a safe environment, and the Transitional Housing Program helps families stabilize while going to school and working. The Youth Program provides primary prevention messages and intervention groups to help young people break the cycle of domestic violence. The Spring Donation Center and Thrift Stores provide goods for survivor families who come to the shelter, including clothing and toiletries. When they leave, furniture, bedding and kitchen items help furnish their new homes. The Spring Boutique opened in 2005 to help provide additional funding for programs at The Spring. This specialty store offers upscale clothing, fashion accessories, and home accessories. The Boutique also increases community awareness with our customers. All proceeds from sales directly support the operating costs of our life saving programs. Learn more at thespringboutique.com .
The CASA Collections Thrift Shoppe, 1011 1st Ave. N., St. Petersburg
- CASA Community Action Stops Abuse, has been working in the Tampa Bay area since 1977 providing refuge, crisis intervention, advocacy, professional training and community outreach to break the silence that isolates victims of domestic violence and prevents them from a life of hope, independence and peace. CASA staff members understand the courage it takes to disclose abuse, and they work with the community to build a network of support for survivors and their children.100% of proceeds from the CASA Collections Thrift Shoppe, which has clothing, shoes, furniture and household items for sale, go directly to fund CASA programs and services. CASA participants also receive gift certificates to shop for items they need. Learn more at casa-stpete.org/thrift-shoppe .
RCS Thrift Store, 2960 E. Bay Drive, Largo
- RCS, short for Religious Community Services, provides multiple programs including a food bank, shelter for homeless families and safety for domestic violence victims. Every thrift store sale benefits all of RCS programs, plus residents of RCS programs receive gift certificates to buy what they need. The Haven of RCS is a Certified Domestic Violence Center, serving Pinellas County for over 32 years. Its mission is to provide safety, support and education to anyone impacted by Domestic Violence and to advocate for social change to end the violence. The Haven offers safe, confidential shelter, counseling/advocacy, a 24-hour toll-free hotline, legal advocacy, 911 cell phones, children's services and support groups to victims of domestic violence. Learn more at rcspinellas.org/thrift-store .
Check out Meredyth's Bargainista Fashion Photo Gallery at http://wfts.tv/18d3yPH .