A 10-minute walk from campus, the YMCA Thrift Shop is a student's dream. From vintage cocktail dresses to restored computers, the Y has it all - furniture, books, housewares, appliances, clothing, shoes and jewelry. There are plenty of inexpensive finds to furnish your apartment and fill your closet. And unlike many thrift stores that disperse the items at a distribution center based on income, everything in good enough condition that is donated to the Y goes straight on the floor - designer clothes, antique furniture and fine jewelry included, explained assistant manager Brian Anderson.

Location: 1000 N. Main St.

Hours: 8:15 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday, Closed Sunday

Pricing: The YMCA Thrift Shop has two basic price categories for clothing: Regular items are $2.50 and wardrobe items - typically nicer, higher quality items - are $5.00. In addition, there is the Thrift Chic Boutique, which offers designer and vintage clothes and accessories at slightly higher (generally $4 to $8) prices. Books, housewares and shoes all cost about $1 to $4 while appliances and furniture vary from very cheap $3 coffee tables to the occasional $600 armoire.

Why You Should Give It a Chance: Beyond having the widest selection of items for student living, the Y is deeply rooted in the community. The staff is friendly, the prices are fair, and everything is incomparably sincere.

Charity: Maintaining a longtime relationship with the Tech community and Blacksburg, the Y actively helps over 25 organizations, including "churches, women's shelters and food banks," Anderson said. "There is a massive variety." Furthermore, they use the donations to sponsor individual families in need. "If someone's house burns down, we will - for free - set them up with furniture, clothing ... basically items of necessity that you need on a daily basis," Anderson explained. "We try to make it so basically anyone can have a computer, clothe themselves, have a couch to sit on and a bed to sleep in."

Green Initiatives: Recently, the Y has put a lot of effort into finding a way to recycle everything. Anderson said, "We now recycle (grades) one to seven plastics, paper, old computers, broken DVD players, batteries, fluorescent bulbs," while donation drives and initiatives such as "YToss?" have saved tons of waste from ending up in landfills.

Promotions and Upcoming Events:

Once a month bag sales, featured on the first full weekend of the month, give the community an opportunity to fill a standard, brown paper grocery bag for only $4. Seasonally-themed book sales are offered once or twice a month. Each October, the Y hosts a massive book sale stocked with 2,000 to 3,000 books of all types. At the end of spring semester, they sponsor Y Toss? and collect unwanted furniture, appliances and assorted goods from students as they leave for the summer. The Y then cleans up and stores the items until the fall and host a sale for returning students.

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