When Elizabeth (Shinoda) Williams unpacks boxes and bags brimming with donations to the University of Hawaiʻi Thrift Shop, it’s like a treasure hunt. So, it was a delightful surprise to her that a baseball, apparently autographed by Lyndon B. Johnson before he became U.S. president in 1963, was among the usual deluge of donations.
“We always receive intriguing and wonderful donations,” said Williams, who manages the Thrift Shop, marveling at Johnson’s signature while a U.S. senator, with the written words “Majority Floor Leader” and “1960” also inscribed.
Exciting finds like this are why UH students, faculty, staff, retirees and community members love browsing and purchasing from the Thrift shop as well as donating their gently used items and clothes. Sale proceeds directly help the 10 UH campuses via grants and scholarships. So far this year, grants range from $1,000 for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa to purchase Native Hawaiian plants to ring Varney Circle, to $2,100 for Honolulu Community College to buy software/equipment to increase access for students with communication, sensory and learning disabilities.
That good cause is why longtime and dedicated volunteers—including June Naughton, who retired as head of International Student Services in 1998—continue to devote time to the Thrift Shop to fulfill the mission of the Women’s Campus Club.
Naughton is president of the club, which was established in 1920 to promote friendship among members, encourage scholarship and render service to the university. “Donating to the Thrift Shop helps so many people, and is environmentally friendly as we repurpose and recycle our resources,” she said.
As for the baseball—which will probably be sold on eBay—the Thrift Shop wants to thank the anonymous giver, who is helping UH today and in the future with the surprise donation. Other surprising donations are welcome.
Thrift Shop information
Hours of operation are Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a half-price sale on the last Thursday and Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Receipts for tax purposes are available for donations.
For more information, contact Thrift Shop manager/volunteer Elizabeth Williams at (808) 561-0287 or email@example.com.
—By Diane Chang