Park Avenue Thrift recently awarded $140,000 to 14 organizations in Enid, through the nonprofit’s 2020 community grants and sponsorships.

The 2020 grant recipients are 4RKids, Atelier, Chautauqua, Cimarron Montessori School, Enid Public Schools, Chisholm Public Schools, Enid Welcome Table, Enid Symphony Association, Gaslight Theatre, Junior Welfare League of Enid, Leonardo’s Children’s Museum, Lifelong Learning Institute of Enid, Main Street Enid, Monroe Elementary and RSVP of Enid.

“Due to the pandemic, many of the organizations we are giving to have faced challenges they could never have planned for,” said Stela Jantzen, Park Avenue Thrift executive director, in a press release. “I am so thrilled that thanks to our community’s generous donations and support that Park Avenue Thrift is able to bring some much-needed financial support to these organizations that help make Enid a great place to live and raise a family.”

Tricia Mitchell, executive director of 4RKids Foundation, said the money from the Park Avenue Thrift grant will enable the 4RKids employment center to purchase a new paper shredder.

“We are so grateful for this grant, because one of our main sources of income is money we get from recycling shredding, and this will go toward buying us a new shredder, because our current machine is dying,” Mitchell said. “This grant is huge, because it enables us to continue our operations, because we’ll have the money from shredding.”

Candace Solorio, marketing director for RSVP of Enid, said the Park Avenue Thrift grant will help RSVP meet a challenge grant from the Allen Family Foundation, which in turn will support food commodity boxes, Enid Mobile Meals and RSVP Senior Social Center.

“It’s a huge impact for us, during COVID-19 and with people shut-in we have more people in need, and more needs for people who are homebound,” Solorio said. “People who are on tight incomes are struggling even more, and if food prices increase even a little it hits them really hard, and this will allow us to help them more.”

Tracy Bittle, executive director at Leonardo’s Children’s Museum, said the grant will help the museum cover operating costs.

“Park Avenue Thrift has always been very helpful, because they help with operating costs, and a lot of the grants we write for do not want to fund operating costs,” Bittle said. “But, just to have the doors open, you have to have pay utilities and insurance, and we wouldn’t be able to cover those costs without Park Avenue Thrift.”

Bittle said the help is especially needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With this pandemic, general attendance is way down, and without these funds, making ends meet would be difficult,” she said, “so we can’t say enough how grateful we are for Park Avenue Thrift.”

In order to keep providing funds to community organizations, Park Avenue Thrift is encouraging community members to donate and shop there.

“Despite the many COVID challenges facing the Enid community and larger world, Park Avenue Thrift is a safe place to shop and support,” said Steven Mackie, Park Avenue Thrift board chair and giving committee chair. “In fact, Park Avenue thrift is thriving as a unique and fun shopping experience while dutifully serving the Enid community through its recent grant giving. The organization is only able to generously give due to the dedicated supporters.”

Since Park Avenue Thrift was founded by Paula Nightengale and David Hume in 2007, the nonprofit has contributed nearly $3 million to community nonprofits and schools. The store employs 27 people, “works with agencies to provide vouchers to those in need, and gives local residents an easy way to share items they no longer need so they can be used by others, while funding important Enid programs,” according to the press release.

For more information on Park Avenue Thrift, visit its website at


Article by: James Neal – Enid News & Eagle

Photos Provided by: Park Avenue Thrift