Guest commentary: The magic of the Aspen Thrift Shop

Special to The Aspen Times

Many of us have experienced it … there is something specific you need and no place in Aspen to buy it, especially at a reasonable price. You decide in a last-ditch effort before going online or driving downvalley to give the Aspen Thrift Shop a try, and more often than not, the magic of the Thrift Shop comes through!

The Aspen Thrift Shop is a true community venture — all local volunteers, all local donations, supporting local nonprofits and providing scholarships for students from Aspen to Carbondale.

The Aspen Thrift Shop has been giving grants for more than 70 years to over 150 nonprofits in the Roaring Fork Valley. In total we have given away over $10 million in grants and scholarships!

We couldn’t do it without all of the wonderful donations of gently used items and all of the shoppers that fill our store, both locals and visitors alike, searching for the treasures the Thrift Shop provides.


We pride ourselves on the simplicity of our granting process. Our goal is to give away as much money as we possibly can to local nonprofits.

Our priorities are education, community, youth activities, the arts, and the environment. While we love to fund projects, we are also happy to consider requests for general operating support.

We have switched to one grant cycle per year, which streamlines everything for us and allows us to see the big picture as far as the needs of the nonprofits of our valley.

If you are a local nonprofit, now is the time to apply for your 2023 grant from the Aspen Thrift Shop. Go to our website,, and click on the Grants tab to find all the info you need to apply. The application deadline is Sept. 30.

And to everyone else in our wonderful community, our grant dollars come directly from store sales so keep shopping and keep donating so we can keep giving. We are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesdays evenings from 4:30 to 7. Hope to see you soon!

With sincere gratitude,

The Ladies of the Grants Committee of the Aspen Thrift Shop