Find Your Local United Way


Jim Cawley

By Jim Cawley

Shopping for Success

Fri, February 26, 2016

Thrift Works in Pennsauken
“When I found my voice could make a difference to people,” Camden resident Karina Ramos shared with the Courier Post during Thrift Works resale boutique’s recent grand opening, “I realized I wanted to do something better with that. {The Work Group} gave me the motivation to be someone.”

And because Karina, who left home and school at 16 for the streets of Camden, found the tools and support she needed to transform her life—a brighter future is now unfolding.

That’s exactly what our newest initiative, Thrift Works, is all about. A partnership of United Way and Impact Partner The Work Group, Thrift Works resale boutique located in Pennsauken, is part retail shop and part job training center. Its goal is to empower underserved students with hands-on training and skill building opportunities in order to guide them to more long-term financial success.

We know that in this increasingly knowledge-based economy, it’s not enough to simply hold a diploma or earn a degree. Education must extend well beyond the classroom, and empower students to leverage and expand their skills and experience to truly achieve success.

For more than 40 years, our Impact partner The Work Group has helped thousands of at-risk Camden City youth, many of whom are transitioning from difficult situations including homelessness, violence and substance abuse. The Work Group focuses on guiding them to earn a high school diploma and preparing them for the workforce with transferable job skills and a foundation for lifelong financial stability. Through our Impact Fund, we’re proud to support this work and help more students bridge the gap between finishing their education and starting a career.

By changing lives like Karina’s, we’re strengthening our local communities. We’re grateful to be able to share her story, and highlight her successes along the way. Together, we’re changing lives and strengthening local communities – one child, one adult and one family at a time.

Thrift Works was made possible through the generous support of corporate partners including Campbell Soup Company, Holman Automotive Group, Investors Bank, Roma Bank, Fulton Bank and the Jewish Community Fund.