622 Elmwood Ave, Providence, RI 02907
Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy,
The Warde-robe is our thrift store ministry in Central Falls, offering quality, gently used clothing and household goods to working families and individuals who have difficulty making ends meet. With a welcoming atmosphere, the store preserves the dignity of each person who walks through its doors.
Upon entering The Warde-robe, visitors find a clean and well-organized store, with seasonal clothing for the whole family and goods for the home, such as small pieces of furniture, bedding, lamps, curtains and decorative items. Proceeds from The Warde-robe’s sales directly benefit the store’s operations and customers, as well as our McAuley House and McAuley Village Ministries.
Staff and volunteers ensure the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy enlivens all they do, from greeting new customers and helping old friends find needed items, to providing emergency clothing free of charge to women staying in local shelters. Many Sisters of Mercy continue to volunteer at The Warde-robe.
In addition to providing clothing in emergency situations, The Warde-robe also offers clothing at no cost through referrals from local agencies such as Project Hope, New Hope for Families shelter, Caritas, Inc., and more.
Our customers are working poor families from Central Falls, Pawtucket and Providence, who all seek necessities at affordable prices.
Thrift Store Hours & Special Sales
Located at 1286 Broad Street in Central Falls, The Warde-robe is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. for shoppers. Additionally, donations are accepted each day The Warde-robe is open, and donors are asked to call first (401-467-3630) before bringing their items to the store.
Twice-a-year, The Warde-robe offers special bag sales, in which customers are invited to fill bags with clothing for as little as $2 or $3 per bag. The Warde-robe also features monthly sales. Customers are encouraged to call to learn more about the store’s current sale.
The History of The Warde-robe
Sisters of Mercy Alberic Martin and Lois Harten had enjoyed many years of ministry work when they began planning their “retirement” in the late 1990s. One day, the two struck up a conversation and learned they shared a common vision for the future—creating a thrift store for the financially poor. In 1996, their vision became reality when they opened The Warde-robe, providing a place where poor families could shop and feel respected and comfortable.
After a long search in Central Falls—one of Rhode Island’s most impoverished communities—the Sisters found a storefront at 1286 Broad Street. They rented a room at the front of the building, and named their new shop The Warde-robe in honor of Mother Frances Warde, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy in the United States.
In The Warde-robe’s early days, donations were mostly made by other Sisters of Mercy and their families. Customers began calling the shop, “the Nun’s store,” and continue to do so to this day. As The Warde-robe grew in both donated items and customers, the store began to expand one room at a time. Soon, it took up the entire first floor of the building.
By 2004, The Warde-robe became part of McAuley Ministries, and The Rev. Mary Margaret Earl was hired to serve as manager. The following year, Rev. Mary
Margaret moved to McAuley House and Donna Benetti was promoted to be
The Warde-robe’s manager.
At The Warde-robe, the Mercy Spirit is preserved as customers and staff continues to be influenced daily by the presence of several retired Sisters of Mercy. Each day, staff can be found diligently working alongside Sisters who now volunteer in the front of the store at the cash register, or in back, sorting clothing. Sisters also coordinate and transport donations, and many other tasks that help to meet the growing needs of the communities we serve.
Recently the Warde-robe has begun a program to auction high end items on E-bay as a means of generating additional support for the thrift store.
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