The Good as New Shop is at 213 North St., Elkton, Maryland, 21921.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays.
Here’s a look at what you can find for sale:
Eight-piece settings of fine china.
Never-worn cocktail dress with the price tag still attached.
Fall home décor and, for a touch of whimsy, an entire collection of porcelain clowns.
Coffee mugs, beer steins, crystal flutes and drinking glasses.
The Good as New Shop in Elkton, Maryland, is the kind of place secondhand shoppers brag about whenever someone compliments them on their latest bargain.
Cute shirt! Where did you get it?
The Good as New Shop! Just $4!
But it’s not just the fashion finds that keep cost-minded shoppers coming back. The store’s cheery staff members — some of whom are retirees from Union Hospital across the street — welcome everyone who enters the store.
Wearing their trademark pink smocks as they organize, sort and display the donations available for purchase, the volunteers tirelessly work to turn someone else’s discards into thrifting treasures.
They remember the faces of the store’s frequent fliers – and often their names – and happily direct newbies to the latest arrival of tchotchkes, kitchenware and toys.
“There are so many good things you can say about the Good as New Shop. The donations are really great and our all-volunteer staff who helps there are wonderful. They have such a friendly rapport with the community,” said Elaine Boyle, manager of Volunteer Services for the Cecil County campus.
Because of them, the Good as New Shop is a breezy retail space where the used goods aren’t old – they’re vintage, and handled with care by seasoned volunteers.
“That’s a nice color for you,” Ruthanna “Frenchy” Lightcap, the store manager, tells a shopper holding a coral blouse.
Lightcap has been a fixture at the Good as New Shop for as long as many can remember. She is the shop’s manager, although she’ll tell you she’s not the one in charge.
“I used to have a shirt in here that said, ‘I’m not the boss. I’m bossy,’” she said, her blue eyes twinkling.
Lightcap coordinates the effort to make sure that the items dropped off for donation quickly find their way out the door. About 25 women help out at the shop, which is open four days a week.
‘A lot of knickknacks’
Volunteers are the reason the Union Hospital Ladies Auxiliary, which runs the store, has raised more than $1 million for Union Hospital programs and departments.
“That’s a lot of knickknacks,” said Jean Moran, who worked as volunteer director at Union Hospital for 31 years.
When Moran retired a few years back, she told Frenchy to give her a year or so to relax. Right on cue, Frenchy called a year later, and now Moran volunteers three days a week at the shop.
In a town like Elkton, where many people not only recognize their neighbors but their family members, too, a donation can feel a little like taking a trip down memory lane.
“We’ve had wedding dresses, mother of the bride dresses, regular dresses, purses and jewelry of every description. It can be hard for families donating Aunt Martha’s teacups or Uncle Tim’s fishing rod, but we always appreciate that they think of us,” Moran said.
“You never know what you’re going to get when you come in here. To me, that’s what makes it fun.”