|In Cocoa Beach, Florida (not the shop where I work).
I’ve been volunteering at the Humane Society thrift store for about five months. I look forward to it as I never did for any paying job. Our shop has positive energy, funky fabulous people, and a foundation of caring. All the proceeds go to our no-kill animal shelter.
It’s more than helping the animals, although that would be plenty – go ahead a make a donation right now. ☺ The caring extends to the people who come in, rich and poor – but more poor. We microwave their Cup-O-Soups, let them use our telephone to call for a job interview (don’t tell the Big Boss) and give them pet food for their animal friends.
Here are a few of the lessons I’m learning about thrift stores, and life in general:
- Be kind. You have no idea what someone is going through. Will some people take advantage of your kindness? Of course, but don’t let them stop you.
- Listen more than you talk. I actually learned this a long time ago, in counseling school. Still works.
- One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Isn’t that amazing? Someone donated a ceramic walrus and I snapped it up. Now it’s my favorite walrus ever.
|My walrus. He’s wearing a seaweed wreath.
- There’s enough for everyone. I’d never get on a waiting list for any piece of clothing. There is so much to go around, a lot of it only gently-loved. Yesterday we received a bag of dresses by Theory, Trina Turk and Joseph Ribkoff. And yes I bought one or two of those.
|Whoo-hoo – dresses like these. From left, Joseph Ribkoff, Trina Turk, BCBG Max Azria
- Keep your eyes open; you don’t know what you’ll find today. The spirit of adventure, of having no set plan, and practicing patience: all these come into play at the thrift. It’s a little slice of life.