American Cancer Society Discovery Shop
The cure for cancer could be in your closet … or your jewelry box, attic … or a Discovery Shop shopping bag. The Roanoke and Smith Mountain Lake Discovery Shops, sponsored by and for the benefit of the local American Cancer Society, are upscale resale shops.
Twenty-two years ago, three community leaders put their heads, hearts and entrepreneurial skills together to create the Roanoke Discovery Shop, the first in Virginia. They studied the concept, recruited volunteers and donors, developed policies on pricing, merchandising, accounting and more. The doors opened at Townside Festival on Franklin Road in October 1995. In 2005, a sister store opened at Smith Mountain Lake. Together, the two shops—thanks to hundreds of volunteers, thousands of donors and a countless number of very happy shoppers—have raised more than $8 million to fund cancer research, education, advocacy and services for patients and their families.
Tax-deductible merchandise is donated, evaluated, priced, displayed and sold much like in any boutique. However, all the work is done by volunteers; all proceeds then go to cancer research and patient services. Customers love the quality of the merchandise, friendly atmosphere, variety, value and good feeling it brings when shopping for a cause.
The Roanoke shop focuses primarily on brand name and designer clothing, shoes, jewelry, collectibles, furnishings, home accessories and even bridal gowns. Many items are donated with the original manufacturer tags still attached. It has also been recognized as one of the premier shops in the nation, competing against those in California, Georgia, Ohio and elsewhere. It has also been awarded numerous area “best of” awards including those for resale shops and the best place to volunteer.
Shoppers delight in the beautiful clothing, unusual and vintage jewelry and fine collectibles, even the occasional highly valuable antique. Delightful treasures are to be found daily. Every item sold helps fund the important programs of the American Cancer Society.
The heart of the Discovery Shops is the volunteers—they’ve discovered the joy that comes from giving their time to an important cause. Store volunteers work various daytime shifts and have made lifelong friendships in the process. Many have experienced cancer firsthand, whether it has affected a family member or friend, as well as the miracles made possible by the work of the American Cancer Society.
Tax-deductible donations are welcome any time the shops are open. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday (The Smith Mountain Lake Discovery Shops closes one hour earlier.) If you would like to volunteer, call the Roanoke shop at 540.345.2572 or the Smith Mountain shop at 540.721.0050.