Emily Little

Thrift store challenge

When I was younger, I thought my calling in life was to go into the fashion industry. Now, I think that idea is absolutely hilarious. While I am certainly not any kind of fashion expert, I do still enjoy putting together outfits . that I may or may not ever wear.

Often times, when I am putting together these outfits, the pieces have come from thrift stores. Thrifting is by far one of my favorite ways to shop, especially at large thrift stores such as Goodwill. A close family friend lives in Sarasota, which is home to many Goodwill stores. Each time we go to visit her, we make sure at least one trip to Goodwill is on our itinerary.

While some people may find buying used clothes weird or uncomfortable, I think it just adds to the clothing's character. Not only do you find pieces that no one else will have, but each article has a story behind it. The seemingly endless racks hold clothes more unique than you'd ever find at a current store.

As a frequent Goodwill shopper, I knew that the company had some type of positive mission, but I did not know the exact details. I decided to do some research on this, and discovered that Goodwill provides jobs for those who would otherwise have a difficult time finding employment.

While it may be on the rise, in today's economy, it is extremely difficult to find and maintain a job stable enough to provide for one person, let alone an entire family. Now, add on some type of hindrance such as a disability or lack of education, and finding work is nearly impossible.

Goodwill works to provide these people with jobs so that they can support themselves and their families. What really surprised me, though, was that Goodwill also works to get people job training for higher-level jobs in areas like banking, IT, and healthcare. Now that I know what my money is going towards, I think I will enjoy shopping at Goodwill even more.

This search led me to realize how organizations like Goodwill operate - donations. Goodwill takes donations of clothes and household objects, sells them, and uses their profits for good. However, without these donations, Goodwill would not be able to run as successfully as it does. They would have to purchase products they sell, making much less money. Making less money would mean having less money to give back, defeating the entire purpose of the cause itself.

Although we do not have a Goodwill store locally, we do have thrift stores and clothing donation bins around town. This being said, I challenge you: next time you go shopping, for each item of clothing you purchase, donate something you already have; whether it be a winter jacket you know you'll never use in Florida, an old prom dress you know you'll never wear again, or a pair of jeans that don't fit you anymore.

Whether it be to a donation bin, a church sponsored thrift store, or the local Salvation Army, I challenge you to donate clothes you no longer wear. Clothes that are just hanging in your closet, that you haven't touched in a year, or that you simply don't like anymore could be put to use. Clothes that you may not have a use for anymore might be greatly appreciated by someone in need. Keep this in mind the next time you scan through your closet full of clothes that you never wear: you may not need them, but they may make a huge difference in the life of someone else.