THRIFT BARNS OF MORRIS COUNTY
THE BARGAIN BARN AND THE BOOK BARN
Located on the site of a former farm and cow barn on Pocono Road in Denville, The Thrift Barns of Morris County, a nonprofit volunteer-run organization, now thrives using the same barn structures built for the livestock in the late 1800’s. The Thrift Barns of Morris County, consisting of the Book Barn and the Bargain Barn, was created in 2015 as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit volunteer-run organization, when Saint Clare’s Hospital and the farm were sold. Since then, numerous local organizations have been benefactors of over $1,350,000 since it was established.
Among the groups benefiting from the generous contributions from the Thrift Barns have been ten local food banks, missions, and food pantries serving the Morris County area, the Denville Social Services Department, The Denville Police Department, Denville Rescue and Recovery and the Denville Fire Department. Some of the other organizations receiving donations include the Joey Bella Memorial Fund, Roots and Wings, Rise Up, Eleventh Hour Rescue, Celebrate the Children, New Beginnings for Tomorrow, and many more. In addition, annual scholarships have been presented to students at Morris Hills High School, Morris Knolls Highs School, Morris Tech High School and the Community College of Morris County.
The Thrift Barns was originally operated as the Corral in 1953 and run by St. Clare’s Hospital Auxiliary, which was organized and sponsored by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, who raised money for St. Francis Residential Community, and St. Clare’s Hospital and St. Clare’s Foundation. Joining the Bargain Barn volunteers in 2006 were the volunteers from The Castaways, a thrift shop which was located in Boonton and operated by Riverside Hospital in Boonton, when in 1985 became affiliated with St. Clare’s Hospital. During the same time period, the Book Barn was being developed adjacent to the Bargain Barn at 18 Pocono Road and currently houses a collection of over 200,000 hard cover and paperback used books by prominent authors as well as a large selection of children’s books. They also feature book signings by local authors and have a special Teachers Room where area teachers are able to buy books and other supplies for their classrooms at bargain prices. Also available for sale are CDs, DVDs, and LPs, magazines and puzzles as well as a large year-round Christmas Shop with a huge selection of holiday items.
The Book Barn was selected as a reader’s choice winner in 2018 and recognized by the Daily Record as of one of the best books stores in Morris County. The Bargain Barn, the original brain storm of the Sisters that operated the St. Francis Resort, later known as St. Francis Residential, was started to raise money in support of the St. Clare’s Foundation. The Bargain Barn has a wide variety of antique and costume jewelry, men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, a framed picture gallery as well as an extensive variety of household items and a large selection of unique and exceptional gifts. In 2018 The Thrift Barns was awarded the “Key to the City” of Denville for ongoing support of the township. In the fall of 2021, as The Thrift Barns celebrated their 5 th anniversary and reached a donation total of $1,000,000, a celebration to note this achievement was held for all volunteers and attended by local dignitaries including Mayor Tom Andes and Senator Anthony Bucco and Assemblywoman, Aura Dunn who presented The Thrift Barns with a Joint Legislative Resolution recognizing their five year anniversary and their One Million Dollar donation total. The continued success of the Thrift Barns is attributed to the numerous dedicated hours of their volunteers, their loyal customer following, but especially to Leonard DiMenna “Lennie” (1949-2022) who served as the Thrift Barns of Morris County President from 2015 -2022.