Thrift shop with a mission: ELLAS helps Latina women in Pilsen get health services for breast cancer

ByYukare Nakayama via WLS logo
Friday, January 17, 2020
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ELLAS thrift store gives all its proceeds towards free health and education breast cancer services for Latina women.

PILSEN, Illinois (WLS) -- You'll find more than a deal at the ELLAS pop-up shop in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.

It's a thrift store that gives back. All it's proceeds go towards free health care services and educational programs for breast cancer survivors.

They have helped over 10,000 women in Pilsen and beyond get the health services they need.

"The mission of ELLAS is to provide a space for Latino women who feel safe and educate Latino women about breast cancer," said Araceli Lucio, founder of ELLAS.

ELLAS was founded back in 2012 after Lucio noticed a need in her community. It's an initiative of the resurrection project.

It helps breast cancer patients who are in need of financial help with free education, transportation to the hospital, and treatment referrals for those diagnosed with the disease.

The volunteers at ELLAS are women whom are survivors themselves.

In collaboration with the organization Knitted Knockers, the ladies knit free cotton prosthesis for women who cannot afford reconstruction surgery or who didn't want it.

"I admire them because they are giving their time to make others, to make them feel good," said Esther Torres, breast cancer survivor.

The thrift store it's located at 1815 South Paulina Street and is open Monday through Friday.

Yukare Nakayama is a Community Journalist at ABC 7 Chicago. She tells stories on the west side of the city in neighborhoods like Pilsen, Little Village, North Lawndale and Austin. Nakayama also covers the north shore suburbs such as Highland Park and Highwood. If you have a story to share in these neighborhoods, send an email to