Latest News

Christmas Shoppe opens to benefit local animals

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at many local stores, but volunteers at a nonprofit thrift shop in the Morgantown Mall have spent the last few weeks transforming their space into a full Christmas Shoppe.

ReTails by M-SNAP (Mountaineer Spay and Neuter Assistance Program) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit thrift store located inside the mall, across from the Shoe Department.

The store celebrated the opening of its annual Christmas Shoppe on Wednesday, complete with cookies, coffee and a special visit from the most famous reindeer of all – Rudolph.

Store Manager, M-SNAP secretary, volunteer and animal lover Gisele Pernell-Toothman said volunteers with the group put a lot of time into swapping out non-seasonal items for things a little more festive as they have been working on the transition – sometimes up to 15 hours a day – since Oct. 20.

That hard work is evident walking into ReTails, which is now filled with everything Christmas from decorations and ornaments to wrapping paper and gift bags. Wreaths, Christmas village houses, glassware and plates, Santa Claus figurines, and even large, pre-made bows with Christmas ribbon.

While the shelves and walls are currently still full, Pernell-Toothman said they have even more Christmas items that have been donated waiting to be put out on the retail floor. As items that are currently displayed are purchased, volunteers will continue putting out new options for shoppers to peruse.

Year-round proceeds from the store support M-SNAP, which is a Monongalia County animal advocacy organization whose mission is to reduce pet overpopulation in the area. Throughout the year, the group distributes vouchers to help cover the often-hefty cost of spay and neuter surgeries at local veterinary offices or SNIP WV (Spay Neuter Incentive Program), a low-cost, high-volume spay and neuter clinic on Earl L. Core Road in Sabraton.

According to M-SNAP Treasurer Nancy Young, ReTails opened in February 2010, it has contributed $232,355 toward the M-SNAP Voucher Program’s total cost of over $1 million.

While ReTails is a major fundraiser for the group, Young said it also gives M-SNAP more of a public presence in the community and a place to share pet stories and talk about the program.

Young said ReTails is also the only thrift store in the Morgantown area that saves 12 months of Christmas donations so they are able to set up the special Christmas Shoppe every year.

Pernell-Toothman said the shop will close a few days before Christmas and volunteers will begin changing the store back to normal for the new year.

ReTails by M-SNAP will be open for regular hours throughout the holiday season – from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.