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A thrifty alternative: Buying gifts on a budget

Gail Ribalta, with Roy Maas Youth Alternatives Thrift Store, said you'd be surprised by the treasures you can find in their store.

SAN ANTONIO — If you're still shopping around for the holidays, you may want to stop by your local thrift shop before you hit the mall.

Sandra Martinez is a familiar face at Roy Maas Youth Alternatives Thrift Store. She comes by three or four times a week.

"You never know what you're going to find and it's all worth it," Martinez said.

During previous visits, she has found designer clothing, high-end furniture, jewelry and decorations. On Saturday, she was looking to check some gifts off her list.

"I think of a person and then I find something, it kind of draws me in," Martinez said. "You'll find something that fits someone's personality every time."

Gail Ribalta is the chief development and administrative officer with RMYA. She said people would be surprised by the treasures they can find at their store.

"We had a $4,000 men's overcoat that looked like it had never been worn," Ribalta said. "We get dresses in here that are hundreds of dollars, with tags on, that have never been used."

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The items are donated by people in the community, then sold at a fraction of the original price. Ribalta said 100 percent of profits go toward the nearly 200 children who rely on their programs.

"Everything that you're doing has a very deep meaning here for us," Ribalta said. "So any purchases here really helps a child out there who is healing from severe abuse and trauma, who's been removed from their home permanently because it's no longer a safe place."

That's another reason why Martinez loves to shop at RMYA. She usually only spends about $20. For her, it's guilt-free because she knows it's going to a good cause.

"It gives back to kiddos in need," Martinez said.

For more information on the programs at Roy Maas, click here