A year ago, charity shop It’s Donated on Lowther Street, near York Hospital, was in grave danger of closure. With falling sales and increasing costs, trustees voted last May to close It’s Donated and give its assets to the causes it supports.
It’s Donated is run by John Lally International Foundation, a small local charity which supports environmental causes. It’s well known in the Groves, setting up planters for instance in the Lowther Street shopping arcade, and paying for a new hedge to be planted at Park Grove School. It’s an ‘International’ charity because it supports eco causes worldwide, such as reclaiming deserts in Africa.
And this last year, against all the odds, it has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams. Its sales have been higher than any previous year, vindicating the decision of its volunteers to stay open despite the decision of trustees last year. Doom and gloom have changed to transports of delight as it contemplates a rosy future, having paid all its costs and made a profit.
It’s Donated is becoming better known in York with customers coming from far and wide to see what it has to offer – it has a fantastic range of clothing, for instance, with new donations arriving almost every day. It’s an ‘old-fashioned’ charity not a national chain, supporting people in the local community in the Groves; most of its volunteers live close by.
Bongo drums, chess sets, golf clubs, plants for the garden, tool kits, cat baskets – you don’t know what you might find at It’s Donated. Its range is supplemented by organic incense, oils and oil burners, bamboo socks, rugs and jute bags, donated by Shared Earth, the Fair Trade/eco shop near York Minster.