ADDRESS: 995 Hawthorne Ave.
ADDRESS: 995 Hawthorne Ave.
Project Safe on Hawthorne Ave. is one of three thrift stores that operate under the local charity under the same name. Project Safe's goal is to help women who experience domestic violence and increase awareness and advocacy. However, the Project Safe stores also have another cause - they offer the option of affordable clothing and home items to those in need. For those who are more fortunate, 90 cents of every dollar spent in the stores goes right to the charity.
Upon entering the store, you're greeted by racks of clothes and a children's area. I really like how the children's area exists because it shows Project Safe's dedication to mothers. Most of the toys here are for sale, and the area borders the section where children's clothes are sold. Most of the first room is dominated by clothing. In the back, there are a few dressing rooms.
The right side of the large room is home to appliances, home decor, media like books and movies, and art - or, if you're an artist, frames. A lot of the home decor fits into the knick-knack category, but there are also lots of essentials like dishes and blankets.
Adjacent is another room that houses larger items, typically furniture. Items with a lower demand are also kept in this room and marketed at lower prices. Right now, for example, it's been in the 80s and 90s, and winter coats are half off and sweaters are selling for 25 cents apiece.
Price-wise, Project Safe changed the way I look at thrifting. So far, Project Safe boasts the lowest prices I've encountered in Athens, and I like knowing that my money is going to a cause I support. I think the most I've ever spent there was around $8.00, and that charge covered a lot of stuff. There are a few racks with more expensive items, usually higher-quality or vintage clothes. Also, obviously, items like furniture are going to cost more than the clothes.
Often the employees will ring up an item so it has a significantly lower price or ends up being free. I'll use my last trip to Project Safe as an example. See that shirt on the right? I saw it, instantly adored it, and decided to try it on, knowing it couldn't cost more than three dollars. Meanwhile, my boyfriend hunted for frames, and found four - these totaled to $3.50, but he hadn't paid yet. I brought the shirt up to the register to show it off, and, you know, get it. The woman behind the counter bagged the shirt and gave it back to me - the total on the register's screen stayed the same.
The folks at Project Safe are always willing to take donations and thankful to those who bring items by. You can even get a return on your taxes for donating items to the shops. Overall, whether it's to some items in the shop or donate things you no longer need, going to Project Safe is an easy way to help people right in Athens.