IN 1989, when the founders of Tayport Charity Shop stumped up £80 of their own cash to get the ball rolling, the notion of raising £250,000 would have been met with laughter.
But just 22 years later, the total donated to local, national and international charities has topped the quarter of a million mark — and things show no signs of slowing down.
To celebrate reaching such an impressive milestone, the shop will be holding an open day next Wednesday, April 27, between 10am and 4pm.
All north east Fifers are invited along to find out more about the shop and the hundreds of charities it has supported over the years.
Refreshments will be served and there will be a lucky dip and raffle.
Tayport Charity Shop began life as a thrift store in tiny premises on Castle Street.
Since then the venture has gone from strength to strength, and the shop now occupies a much larger site on the same road.
Chairman Nessie Smith, who moved to Tayport almost 40 years ago, believes the shop’s success can be put down to its close ties with the community.
She said: “Folk come in here and they have a laugh.
“All the 31 volunteers get on well and the shop is very much part of the community.
“No matter what you want, if you wait long enough we’ll get it in eventually.
“We have people who come in every day — they’re like me, they don’t want to miss out on a bargain!”
The shop has raised over £100,000 in the last five years alone — a remarkable achievement given the low prices even designer goods are sold at.
Those goods range from clothing and shoes to CDs and DVDs, with bedding, rags and bric-a-brac in between.
Every month, each volunteer picks a charity to which a minimum of £200 will be donated.
They range from local causes — Tayport Thistle under-13s and Tayport Old People’s Club benefited in March — to international aid efforts such as flood relief in Pakistan.
Nessie said: “We are unique because we’re not affiliated to any one charity.
“Customers can see which causes we’re supporting each month and how much has been paid out.
“We rely totally on donations and nobody gets paid any money — after running costs for the shop, everything goes to charity.”