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Changes made at The Glass Shelf Gift Shop

Staff Writer
Published: 9/15/2019 9:50:16 PM
Modified: 9/15/2019 9:50:11 PM

ATHOL – While major construction and building improvements have been happening around it, small changes are taking place at The Glass Shelf Gift Shop, a longtime fixture in the main lobby of the Memorial Building at Athol Hospital.

The glass-walled store, for a time run by the Athol Hospital Auxiliary, is managed by Diane Coburn and is manned by volunteers, some of whom have been doing it for many years. There are currently 15 volunteers, including high school students, one who is doing an internship and others who are planning to enroll in a medical program after graduating.

Coburn said the gift shop is run and owned by Athol Hospital, and all proceeds from sales go back to the hospital to be used as needed. The merchandise, she said, is “quite varied,” from necessity items like fingernail clippers, to gifts, home decor, clothing, dishware, handcrafted jewelry, lunch bags, rosaries, sports teams merchandise, mugs and “very reasonably priced” used books. “Our biggest sellers are candy bars between 2 and 4 p.m.” There are items available to medical staff as well such as compression socks and hand cream. All greeting cards are $1 each. Gift certificates are available.

Details are being worked on to bring in local artisans. Two months ago the shop started carrying Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee, roasted in Orange. “We sold out in the first order,” Coburn said.

The inventory is changing into a fall theme and will transform into winter and Christmas at the beginning of December. A sale cart is stationed daily outside the shop with items that have had a long shelf life or to promote new items. 

Coburn said she watches for trends and is happy to take suggestions. “One of my main goals is to have it become the ‘go-to’ gift shop in the area.”

Connie Superchi, who grew up here and has been volunteering at The Glass Shelf for nine years, said the hospital is “an important part of this area.” She said everybody in her family, including her grandparents, have been patients at the hospital and as a volunteer she feels she is doing her part to support it. 

As Volunteer Coordinator, Coburn said she is always searching for adults who can work one to two days a week, three hours at a time in other areas of the hospital. 

The gift shop is open Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about volunteering, call Diane Coburn at 978-249-1145 or email



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