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My new favorite charity

June 11th, 2017 at 02:07 pm

With two boys, I'm perpetually accumulating a 'donate' pile of outgrown books, clothes, and toys.

I used to just drop them off at the Goodwill around the corner, but my recent shopping trips there have been eye-popping. (Some of you have already commented on how they're charging new or near-new retail prices for donated items). I know they have to cover rent and all... but....

Thankfully I discovered a local "free store" run by a Methodist church in a high poverty area about 5 miles from my house. It's just like a thrift store-- nice racks of clothes, and items arranged on shelves-- only it's in the church basement, run all by the nicest volunteers, and everything in the store is free for anyone in the neighborhood who is in need. They also offer free meals several times a week.

I'm hooked. I really LOVE knowing that my stuff is going to kids and families who really need it. And they don't have to pay a dime.

Yes. I know donating to thrift shops isn't enough charity to change the world. It's just one part of what we do.

But I love that there's a kid who'll actually have a bike to ride around on this summer because my son donated the one he'd outgrown, and that kid didn't have to walk into a Goodwill, want the bike, but have his mom say no because they couldn't afford the $50 thrift-store price tag!!

Plus, the volunteers are so nice. It's clear they really put their hearts into the venture and that it's making a meaningful difference in their lives and in the community. Good vibes all around!

Apparently, there are free stores in other towns as well, so maybe there's one near you that's worth checking out?

6 Responses to “My new favorite charity”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I don't know of any free thrift stores, but there are a lot of thrift stores here. I may check into a few and start donating those instead of Goodwill. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. starfishy Says:

    that's fantastic and will make a big difference in local people's lives - which, to me, is very worthwhile charity!! i love the image of a child riding your son's outgrown bike. i think donating to local thrift stores (free or not) is a good alternative to the national "chain" charities. the proceeds usually benefit a local church, hospital, school or other group. there a thrift shop near me that uses its proceeds to offer grants to local non-profits - they give away almost $100K a year!!! all from selling used clothing, housewares, shoes, etc. in a fairly small space. it's really amazing.

  3. My English Castle Says:

    I have friends who have stopped donating to Goodwill because of the salary issues. Lots of local charities seem to be great alternatives.

  4. rob62521 Says:

    Isn't that so cool? There are two places where we live that give things away. Actually three, but you have to go through one of them to get a voucher to get free furniture and this place actually works through other places too. We donate to all of these places as well as a resale shop that benefits the Lutheran School in our town. But the resale shop even donates stuff to these places too so it sort of all works out. You are doing a wonderful thing by donating to this charity and making a difference in someone's life.

  5. CB in the City Says:

    Years ago, I donated a big pile of very nice clothing to a local charity. The people who took the clothing were rude and acted like I was imposing on them. I guess that kind of burned me; I've always donated to Goodwill since then, where they at least have the sense to say thank you. That said, I know it was not a typical experience -- but I sure remember it!

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/07/30/does-goodwill-industries-exploit-disabled-workers/#140bf8776a56

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