SoHum Chamber’s Featured Business of the Week: Garberville Thrift Store/Humane Society of the Redwoods

Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce

Every week the Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce features a business of the week. We’ll be sharing their posts here to celebrate our community.

This week’s featured business of the week is The Garberville Thrift Store!

The Garberville Thrift Store, also known as The Humane Society of the Redwoods, first opened their doors back in 1994 and was once run by former Woodrose Café owner, Pam Hanson.  Throughout the years that Pam was passionately involved with this non-profit organization, it was called “Action for Animals”.   Twenty-four years later, long time local community member Sara Comma, now oversees the business with the help of Cathy Bruce, the store manager for the last 17 years.

The Humane Society of the Redwoods is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping animals in Humboldt County.  Their primary mission is to prevent cruelty, suffering and over population of animals through education, awareness, and financial support!  This organization is well known for generously helping people when it comes to spaying and neutering their pets, as well as spending roughly $25,000/year on veterinary  bills for those in need of financial assistance for injured animals.  This organization is considered the “hub” for animal support and is also a network for people looking to adopt animals.

Sara Comma and her staff focus heavily on keeping the pet population down and emphasizes that one of their biggest areas of concern are with feral cats.  They put a lot of time and energy into spaying and neutering felines as well as canines.  Sara states, “fixing males can help eliminate fights, and aggressive behaviors often created by unfixed animals”.

While the Humane Society works on animal population control, proper care of your pets and helping create an environment for both humans and pets alike to live in harmony, the Garberville Thrift Store serves a lot of purposes for the planet and our community.  This historical business accepts gently used clothing, household items, kids toys and books, all of which help contribute to keep things out of landfills.

Incoming tourists that pass through often tell the employees here that “it’s one of the nicest thrift stores they have ever visited”.

The Thrift Store currently provides jobs for two employees as well as works with the probation department out of Eureka allowing people to work off court ordered community service hours.  After the normal monthly bills get paid, the rest of the proceeds go toward keeping the Humane Society up and running.

In a phone conversation with Sara, she reported that the current state of the store is in danger.  Cathy Bruce also added that business has been very slow and financial times are extremely difficult.  So difficult in fact that, they have been forced to put helping the community with their pets, on hold for the moment.  Both Sara and Cathy fear that if things don’t pick up soon, they will be forced to close their doors, permanently.

To help prevent closing, Sara has been actively looking into grant funding with the Humboldt Area Foundation, an organization that has helped them in the past when times were tough.

This non-profit organization has been a big contributor in helping keep both the feline and canine population under control, has spent thousands of dollars saving the lives of many pets and has done an outstanding job in providing a variety of services for our community, as well as often being the vocal voice for our beloved furry pets and friends.

Whether you are looking for affordable clothes, household items, toys, or the perfect book to read, stop on by the Thrift Shop and get what you need!  Many of the proceeds from the store help fund the Humane Society!

The Garberville Thrift Store is located at: 909 Redwood Drive in Garberville

Hours of operation are:

Monday – Friday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Sunday: Closed

For information on how you can help support The Humane Society of the Redwoods please call: 707-923-0167 or email: Cathy Bruce at:

Thank you Humane Society of the Redwoods for all the services you provide!  For being the only organization like yours around here, we sure do appreciate you in this community!

Note: Redheaded Blackbelt is a member of the Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce



  • Oh the laughter!!!

    They charge triple the Miranda thrift for clothing and are picky about accepting donations. I used to shop there often. No more.
    I have known Sarah Coma for more than 50 years & love her dearly.

    • Nonsense. It’s 25 cents for kids clothing, $2 for kids shoes far cheaper than Miranda, where I also shop regularly. Comparison wise, I’ll bet you $100 that their prices are the same or less in some areas. Yes, they are picky about accepting donations. 3 people running a store where people leave garbage on their doorsteps that they have to deal with. They are overwhelmed.

  • Thank you Sara and all the others who do so much good.

  • Businesses in town are going to have to understand that they might need to be open more on the weekends to capture more sales in these times. If you’re in such dire need of foot traffic maybe be closed Mondays and open Sundays. Tourists are generally in the area more on weekends.

  • Kym, it’s Sara Comma, not Sara Coma. lol

  • Taurus Ballzhoff

    Thanks to the ladies who devote their hours to this cause!

    You are awesome special!

    Everyone please support this shop and throw in an extra dollar or two when you can!

    Spay those kitties!

  • Our amazing ladies who operate this store provide merchandise which exceeds standards of other thrift stores of it’s kind.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this is the only one who provides freshly laundered clothing, tests all battery operated and electric devices to insure they are functioning, clean and priced fair. The racks are filled for each season, holiday and upcoming festival, so that there is always something fresh that fits the occasion!
    Can’t imagine Garberville without this thrift store, so I pray there is help available to keep things running. Maybe a fundraiser or raffle drawing, some bake sales or a “walk-your-dogathon” , and the possibilities are endless…

  • It would be helpful if Garberville thrift store posted the items they need donated.
    It’s very disheartening to save things for the thrift store then have the rude girl at the front counter paw through and reject them.

    • They can only take what they can sell, which is mostly nicer clothing without any stains or holes. They are already overwhelmed with tons of stuff that isn’t sellable and end up paying lots in dump fees. They take working electronics & lightly used kitchen ware. A good rule to think about when donating is that if u were to see the items at a store as is, would u buy it?

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