One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, as the old saying goes. Since opening our first salvage bureau in 1953, St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County has proved this saying true time and again. By building a successful business model around the idea of Zero waste and Philanthropy, we have been able to divert hundreds of millions of pounds of material from landfills over the course of seven decades.  

Of course, our environmental accomplishments are only a small piece of the puzzle. St. Vincent de Paul was founded as a human-service organization, assisting the poor and those in need. Over the past 70 years we have grown to aid thousands of Lane County residents in need each year. We are able to accomplish this through a combination of financial support from dedicated donors and through the operation of our retail thrift stores.  

trash to treasure finds

Like all thrift stores, St. Vinnie’s operates on the second-hand donation model. By reselling lightly used clothes, books and furniture, we are able to fund important programs in our community such as Egan Warming Centers, Veterans’ Services, and the development of Affordable Housing. Where some may see an old pair of shoes, we see eight new units of housing. Where someone might just see an old dresser, we see renter’s education programs. 


This is where you come in. As we transition from spring to summer and people begin to emerge from a long winter of hibernation, it’s time to take stock of those miscellaneous boxes stacking up inside your garage. Take a look at those old dish sets and ask if they might be able to serve some better good than dust collectors. Or perhaps you’re scaling up and just need to find a way to offload some old furniture or appliances. In that case, we are always just a phone call or a quick drive away. 

So, the next time you load up the minivan for a trip to the dump, think about what treasures might be lurking in there and what kind of good they could serve your community.  


St. Vincent de Paul, your neighborhood salvage bureau.