Our History

“Don’t throw it away, throw it our way” was an early theme of the Pennyworth Thrift Shop, which came into being in downtown Silver Spring on Valentine’s Day in 1953. Started by a handful of women from Grace Episcopal Church, this outreach ministry of the church, now in its fifth location, continues to serve the changing community of downtown Silver Spring.


Pennyworth is run entirely by a committed staff of volunteers, whose mission is to serve the local community, conserve the environment by reusing and recycling, and provide a meaningful connection with the community. 

Proceeds from the shop go not only to support Grace Episcopal Church but also to local, national, and international non-profit organizations, and to those affected by political and natural disasters, from Hungarian refugees in 1956 to those affected by hurricanes in Texas and Puerto Rico in 2017.


In a recent sermon, the Reverend Andrew Walter, Rector of Grace Church, said: “Just over sixty-five years ago, a parishioner named Alice Maud Jones began collecting unwanted clothes from other church members. She would take those clothes, put them in her car, and drive around Montgomery County; and, when she saw someone in need of those clothes, she would give them out. Her ministry eventually became the Pennyworth Shop, which celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, the longest, ongoing ministry of Grace, and if you take a moment to think about every article of clothing the Pennyworth Shop has given out since Alice Maud Jones began, that’s how many lives we’ve touched. I don’t know if it’s Is it thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, but I do know it’s a lot. And, we’re only getting started.”

— Donovan Mafnas, Impact Volunteer


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