Best Kept Secret Lets Shoppers Find Great Bargains and Helps Heal, Comfort the Sick

By Nancy Needham (

Shhhhh! Let's keep this one between us.

I just learned of a great thrift store that's been in Newbury Park for over 35 years. I have a feeling the reason nobody told me about it is because I'm a reporter who does a really bad job of keeping secrets. And those who shop there enjoy the great deals they get on designer clothes and home decorations.

Just the other morning I went inside the Merry Hall Tree Thrift Store, 2929 Theresa Drive, where I found it full of hardworking and cheerful volunteers cleaning, organizing and putting up beautiful displays. I was told there are 40 volunteers in all working there at different times helping bring in money for the Catholic nursing facility Mary Health of the Sick.

That 24-hour skilled nursing facility is on the same premises as the thrift store off Borchard Road south of the 101 Freeway. The hospital has been owned and operated by Servants of Mary sisters who welcome all faiths. Merry Hall Tree manager Carol Smith said that 100 percent of the proceeds from the thrift store go to help pay for care for those who are sick.

I marveled at a lovely vintage wedding dress and veil for $75. A delicate Christmas angel in a display case for $10. Boutique dresses, designer shoes and handbags, jewelry and books. There were collectible dolls, dinnerware and lots of Christmas decorations.

Tiny vintage hats with netting reminiscent of days gone by. Barely used designer walking shoes. A purple tuxedo cummerbund. A sparkling butterfly pendant. Some were no doubt past treasures to somebody. Many items could be someone else's future keepsake. The money made from sales will certainly bring comfort to others.

For more information, go to or call 805.498.7886.