Tuesday, September 3, 2013


When Macklemore released the hit single “Thrift Shop” (The Heist, 2012), I said to myself, “finally, a theme song fitting of Miss Elisa K!” I fell in love with thrifting in college. Thrifting is the art of hunting for awesome clothing and key wardrobe pieces at thrift stores and on clearance racks resulting in non-damaging effects to your wallet. Being broke but also being a fashion connoisseur forced me to be resourceful and to think outside of the mall. My purpose for thrifting was weekly, guilt-free shopping sprees.

While my purpose is an admirable one, I soon began to realize that my favorite thrift stores stood for even greater purposes. I was looking to cut my spending on clothing, but the organizations behind these thrift stores were looking to make a difference in someone else’s life. Here are some of my favorite thrift stores and the causes they support:

Cause For Paws Thrift Store – Raleigh, NC (http://cfpaws.com/)

CFP Thrift Stores were created to raise proceeds for the animal rescue organization to buy a much needed animal shelter and headquarters. Cause For Paws has successfully fostered and found homes for hundreds of animals. Let’s have two barks and a meow for animal wellness!

Salvation Army Family Stores – Everywhere (http://satruck.org/)

The Salvation Army is world renown for continuous service and aid. The Salvation Army Family Stores furthers this legacy by funding the organization’s Adult Rehabilitation Program. The Adult Rehabilitation Program helps men and women to be self-sustaining through “Work Therapy” and self-esteem building. The Salvation’s Army hope is in an honest day’s work.

Philly AIDS Thrift Store – Philadelphia, PA (http://phillyaidsthrift.com/)

Philly AIDS Thrift Store is a non-profit organization that has joined the war against HIV/AIDS. Philly AIDS Thrift distributes its proceeds amongst HIV/AIDS organizations, foundations, and programs, such as the AIDS Fund and the HIV Testing Facility of the Mazzoni Center. Their cash contributions total to date is $646,000.00. They have their money where their heart is!

Goodwill Industries – Everywhere (http://www.goodwill.org/)

We all know Goodwill and that the non-profit organization is known for job training and creating opportunities in the workforce. In 2012 alone, 6.7 million people were employed or received job training, 216,000 earned a job due to Goodwill’s assistance, $4.89 million in revenue was gained (82 percent of which was spent directly on programs), and 2,700 retail stores are open nationwide. They even have Beyoncé on board who will collect donations as her world tour travels state side. Talk about having an impact!

If you never considered thrifting and you just can’t imagine wearing someone else’s clothes, why not view it from another perspective? When you purchase and wear clothing from these stores, you are now wearing shelter for a motherless puppy. In your thrifted, vintage purse, you are now carrying the keys of someone’s future in the form of job training. By walking in those classic peep-toe pumps, you are now making the path for missionaries a little easier. For me, thrifting is all about the thrill of finding hidden treasures in the least likely of places. I am honored to know that my treasure hunts are uncovering precious miracles for others.