The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2014

April 12, 2014

Park Avenue Thrift is passionate about Enid

ENID, Okla. — Paula Nightengale and David Hume admit they have the best job in Enid: giving away money.

The pair operate Park Avenue Thrift, which opened its doors in 2007 and has given more than $1.2 million to community endeavors and causes.

Park Avenue Thrift is the primary provider to Loaves and Fishes, a food outlet, underwriting the salary of its executive director.

Additionally, it funds programs for Leonardo’s Children’s Museum, Main Street Enid, Enid Symphony Orchestra, Gaslight Theatre, Creative Arts Enid, Chautauqua, Enid Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, numerous school projects and activities. The thrift store gives money directly to teachers through its Emerging Artists Gallery, supports the Lead Guitar program in Enid Public Schools, sponsors the annual volunteer banquet for RSVP and, sponsors Paws for the Cause and Turkey Trot. Recently, Park Avenue donated $10,000 toward an effort to bring Woodring Wall of Honor, a replica of the Vietnam Wall, to Enid.

Park Avenue Thrift has a benevolence voucher program offered through numerous helping agencies, churches and schools in town. Those who receive the vouchers can come to Park Avenue Thrift and use them to select whatever they need.

“Really our motivation is Enid,” Nightengale said. “We’re passionate about Enid.”

“In our working lives, we were always involved in the community,” said Hume, who was on the committee that wrote the initial application for Enid to become a Main Street community in 1994.

Athletic endeavors and medical programs are not Park Avenue’s niche, Nightengale said.

“Just about anything else (though). Someone can bring us a proposal, and we’ll consider it,” Nightengale said. “We don’t have a formal application.”

The reason this works is because more than 300 customers shop at the store every day and more than 30 people a day drive up the alley and drop off donations, Hume said.

As for most-needed donations, clothing, books and household items are what pays the bills, Nightengale said. Even clothing that’s no longer in perfect condition can be turned into money, because the store can sell them to a rag recycler.

The store made $1,893 the first day it was open, Hume said.

“People are jealous of David and I because we have a wonderful job,” Nightengale said. “But we’re nothing without our people.”        

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Progress 2014
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