Marco’s DAR hits the runway in Bargain Basket fashions

Chris Curle
Special to the Eagle
Bargain Basket manager, Samantha Kopren, center, flanked by members of Marco Island Daughters of the American Revolution wearing fashions from the thrift shop.

Who hasn’t been to the Bargain Basket? It’s a magnet for islanders and off-islanders alike, an ever-changing inventory of clothes, books, knick-knacks, linens, furniture, kitchen equipment, dinnerware, serving dishes, glassware, art, electronics, some medical devices, movie and music CDs and DVDs, jewelry, shoes, toys, tools and more – all at bargain prices.

Run by donors and volunteers, the Bargain Basket has served Marco since 1975. The proceeds from the thrift shop advance the ministry of the United Church of Marco Island and support its ministry partners locally and nationally.

The manager of the Bargain Basket, Samantha Kopren was the featured speaker at the Marco Island Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) meeting February 21 at the Hideaway Beach Club.

“Today, we have about 130 volunteers and donors who keep the thrift shop stocked, organized and operating smoothly,” she told the members.  “I am one of only three paid employees.”

She laughed when asked what the most unusual donations where they have received.

“You don’t want to know!  We do get some inappropriate donations.  When curious items come in, we play a game; if you can name it, you can have it.  Sometimes we have no idea what they are.  We’re sure they have some purpose, we just can’t figure out what.”

“Our donations are at an all-time high,” Kopren said.  “Ever since the book and the Netflix program, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, the thrift store industry in general is thriving.”

“We don’t take large furniture like couches, no mattresses, used fax machines or printers. We do take some new flat screen TVs.”

Kopren explained what they do with donated items that are slightly damaged or stained.

“Anything we can’t sell or something damaged goes to salvage. We work with a company in Bradenton that ships such items to third world countries.”

Kopren described Bargain Basket customers as varied.

“We have regular year-round and seasonal Marco customers.  We get local families and then the woman pulling up in a new Mercedes just looking for a deal.”

There was some show-and-tell at the DAR meeting as Samantha Kopren narrated a mini-fashion show. Eleven DAR members showed off outfits purchased at Bargain Basket prices. DAR Regent Pat Hancock said there were gasps from the audience when Samantha Kopren revealed the low prices of the clothes.

To learn more about The Bargain Basket visit or call:, 239-394-6640, 750 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco Island.

DAR has 180,000 members in 3,000 chapters worldwide. Members are women 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot in the American Revolution.

Monthly luncheon meetings are at 10:30 a.m. on the third Thursday of each month.

Members also meet casually between meetings, just for friendship and fun. Potential members and visitors from other chapters are welcome.  Please contact Pat Hancock, 319-530-5006