Open Arms and Doors

The Thrifty Sisters store opened its doors in December 2012 with a hope and a prayer. The shop was the core of a plan to support the Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Josephs Home for seniors who needed assisted living and nursing care but did not have the financial resources. It quickly became one of the most popular thrift shops in the Richmond area and – thanks to the support from shoppers, donors and volunteers from throughout Central Virginia – was able to stay true to its mission of helping to create a safe, comfortable, and loving home for Virginia’s elderly poor.

New Beginnings

In June 2021, Thrifty Sisters announced Saint Francis – Manchester an Assisted Living Community as its charitable beneficiary, creating a partnership between the two organizations that helps to continue the legacy of hospitality and giving back to the greater Richmond community that Thrifty Sisters was founded on more than a decade ago. While saddened that Thrifty Sisters’ original beneficiary Little Sisters of the Poor left Richmond, the collaboration with Saint Francis Home provides an exciting opportunity to continue on as Thrifty Sisters and speaks to the heart of why the shop was founded in the spirit of St. Jeanne Jugan – to provide help to the elderly who are in need within ‘our own backyard’ and the greater Richmond community.

A Not For Profit Thrift Store

By shopping at, volunteering with, and donating to Thrifty Sisters, which is a non-profit thrift shop, you are helping to support Thrifty sister’s mission which benefits Saint Francis – Manchester an Assisted Living Community. Net proceeds will go to Saint Francis – Manchester an Assisted Living Community to help in providing quality assisted care for older adults of limited financial means.

Come be a part of our story:

Donate, Volunteer, Shop

Jeanne Jugan

Jeanne Jugan was born on October 25, 1792, in the small fishing village of Brittany, France. In the midst of the French Revolution, times were tough. For thousands, begging was a way of life.

By the time Jeanne was 4 years old her father had been lost at sea. Her mother found odd jobs to make ends meet. Neighbor helped neighbor. As a young girl Jeanne worked as a shepherdess and learned to knit and spin wool. Later she went to work as a kitchen maid for a wealthy family, then set out to work among the poor and forsaken in a local hospital.

One cold winter night she met an elderly, blind and infirm woman who had no one to care for her. Jeanne carried the woman home, climbed up the stairs to her small apartment, and placed her in her own bed. From then on, Jeanne would sleep in the attic.

God led more poor old people to her doorstep, and generous young women came to help. Like Jeanne, they wanted to make a difference, and shared her belief that “the poor are Our Lord.” Struck by their spirit of humble service, local citizens dubbed the group the Little Sisters of the Poor.

To preserve the dignity of her residents, Jeanne took it upon herself to go out daily and beg for food, clothing, money and other items to meet the needs of her growing “family.” She believed that “if God fills [the Home], God will not abandon it.” This guiding principle is why the Little Sisters have never maintained an endowment. She felt that if she created an endowment, it would represent a lack of faith in God’s desire to provide.

“Making the elderly happy, that is what counts!”

St. Francis of Assisi and St. Jeanne Jugan are depicted in this icon by artist George Pinecross.
Image courtesy of Octavio Duran

Founded in 1973, Saint Francis – Manchester an Assisted Living Community, located in the historic Manchester district just South of the James River from downtown Richmond was created to provide an affordable, loving home and quality assisted care for 125 older adults who have limited financial means.

Saint Francis – Manchester an Assisted Living Community provides comprehensive services including housing, food, safety, medication management, and assistance with daily living needs for older adults who have few to no options for quality assisted living. As an outreach of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, resident care is based on the fundamental belief that all human life is sacred, and every person is precious.

Saint Francis – Manchester an Assisted Living Community is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Social Services as an Assisted Living Facility, and welcomes residents regardless of race, religion, or national origin. For more information about Saint Francis – Manchester an Assisted Living Community, please visit