Our Mission

  1. To serve as a source of low cost clothing and household goods for the residents of the community.
  2. The Thrift Shop provides the financial support for funding the health-related programs and activities of the Orono Health Association.
  3. Promoting the reuse and recycle initiative by reducing the items that are sent to the landfill by repurposing them into our community and beyond.



The Orono Health Association (OHA) was formed in the Spring of 1969. Reverend Herbert R. Houghton proposed the original concept for a Health Center. An advisory committee was created, and in January of 1969, forty-eight people attended a public meeting and voted to form an association to serve the Orono community. A steering committee was appointed, and a board was established. In May of 1969, the first meeting was held, and by-laws were adopted, creating the Orono Health Association and appointing the first three programs: A dental clinic, a first aid course, and a clothing room.

Since its inception, OHA has widened its scope to include many other ‘health’ needs. The OHA gives funds to at least 20 different organizations within Orono and the surrounding towns every year. These endeavors are mostly funded by the Orono Thrift Shop, which has grown from the original clothing room to encompass the second floor of the Birch Street School. The Thrift Shop is operated primarily by dedicated volunteers and provides a place for individuals and families to come and find low-cost alternatives for clothing and household goods. It is also a model for conscientious reuse and recycling of items that would otherwise become part of the refuse stream. Items that cannot be used at the Thrift Shop are donated to other charitable organizations, shelters, and low-income support programs.

Our non-profit organization has assisted our community with health-related needs for more than 50 years. We have been a part of the community, from the loaning of medical equipment to yearly scholarships for graduating Orono High School students. We could not do what we do without our volunteers and their hundreds of hours of hard work every week or our patrons and their donations to the Thrift Shop, and for that, we are very thankful!