Nearly 280 Stein Mart locations nationwide were set for closure after the company filed for bankruptcy, including five in Southwest Florida.

Shoppers took advantage of steep discounts on all merchandise as Stein Mart liquidated its assets. One of Guadalupe Resale Shop’s supporters visited the location near Pelican Bay in Naples on Oct. 29, just hours before it was set to close its doors for the final time.

The mood was somewhat somber. Inventory was limited. The handful of remaining employees were about to be unemployed.

The Resale Shop supporter wasn’t there to shop for herself, though. She was on a mission, for a mission, and began filling up shopping bags with deeply discounted clothing. She intended to buy everything and donate it all to the Resale Shop, which supports educational programs for students in Immokalee.

One bag turned into two, which turned into three, and so forth. When employees found out what she was doing, they started chipping in money of their own.

“The sales staff were about to lose their jobs, yet felt so strongly about what I was doing that they wanted to help, too,” said the shopper, who wanted her deed to remain anonymous. “I was just so touched. Charity just breeds more charity.”

When all was said and done, her sales receipt measured nearly 11 feet! The total retail price was more than $6,000, but after discounts, she paid just a little over $200.

She and her husband then delivered the items to Guadalupe Resale Shop,

Resale Shop volunteers left the tags on each item, a sales technique that helps move inventory quicker because shoppers know they’re getting brand-new items at great prices. The Resale Shop has a growing contingent of donors and shoppers who are helping Guadalupe Center accomplish its mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee.

Guadalupe Center serves more than 1,400 students annually through its nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program. The nonprofit relies on proceeds from the Resale Shop and philanthropic support from individuals, foundations and businesses to keep programs accessible for lower-income families.

“Every donation and sale at Guadalupe Resale Shop helps support our mission, but this particular donor went above and beyond,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “It’s actually a fabulous idea. So many retail stores have clearance, BOGO and going-out-of-business sales, and knowing when to buy and donate can be a tremendous help to Guadalupe Resale Shop and other nonprofits that rely on donations to carry out their missions.”

Donation FAQs

Guadalupe Resale Shop accepts donations of quality furniture, home décor, artwork, kitchenware, lamps, linens, DVDs and CDs, books and more, as well as all types of new and gently used ladies’ and men’s clothing, including accessories such as jewelry, purses and nearly new shoes.

Donations are accepted from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at a drop-off station behind Guadalupe Resale Shop, which is located at 12980 Tamiami Trail North, Unit #10, in Naples. Guadalupe Resale Shop offers a FREE furniture pick-up service by calling 239-594-2696.

LEARN MORE: How and what to donate

– By Kat McNabb, Manager of Guadalupe Resale Shop