'Italian mama' runs Colonie thrift shop to support museum, community

Jul 09, 2019 200

BY: Mallory Moench

In the back room of an eclectic Central Avenue house, Theresa Viva opened her arms to take garbage bags full of kids' clothes. "Hi Theresa, more stuff!" the woman donating used items called out as she handed over a pink stool decorated with Disney princesses. "Maybe you can give to the lady who does fostering?" Everyone who visits A Second Chance Thrift Shop seems to knows Viva and the causes she supports — ranging from the Italian-American community, to foster kids, to premature babies.

The 67-year-old self-described "Italian mama" brims with energy. In between embracing donors, volunteers, and customers, she keeps up a steady stream of stories about her Ferrari mechanic husband from Sicily who loves motor oil and marinara sauce. In the back room surrounded by boxes of cannoli shells and a basket of religious curios, she shows off videos of her four grandkids — six-year-old triplets and a five-year-old —  with whom she lives.

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SOURCE: https://www.timesunion.com

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