Guest blog post written by social media volunteer, Melissa.
Thanks to Macklemore’s hit song Thrift Shop, thrift stores have become more popular than ever for people looking for “authentic” vintage apparel. While this might be the case for hipsters and millennials the thrift store is also a destination of necessity for many of America’s working-class.
This was not, however, always the case. Prior to the early 20th century, second hand/consignment goods were often considered sullied and unwholesome. It wasn’t until 1902 when Reverend Edgar J. Helms founded what is now known as Goodwill Industries, did thrift stores see a rise in popularity and necessity among the American people.
Thrift stores and consignment shops have continued to gain favor in this retail centric world. According to the National Association of Resale Professionals, the number of thrift stores, consignment shops, and other retailers selling second-hand merchandise has increased 7% in each of the past two years. And approximately 16-18% of Americans will shop at a thrift store in a given year.
So why have thrift shops continued to boom? Turns out Gen Y realized spending $50 on a TopShop t-shirt wasn’t too smart if you’re burdened with huge student loans and an awful job market. While the youth generation may have turned to thrift shops out of necessity, they’ve helped reshape the American view on thrift shops to what is now considered sensible and even cool. And as Macklemore would say, “I wear your granddad’s clothes, damn right I look incredible.”
So why should you shop at Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop?
1. You’ll find a bargain
You probably already guessed this, with “thrift” being in our name. What you might not know is that each month select colored tagged items go on sale. For the month of August you’ll find green tagged items 75% off and red tagged items 50% off. Each month we also do a drawing for a $35 gift certificate. Stop by to be entered to win. This month we’re also celebrating National Thrift Store Day. All items in the store will be 50-75% off on August 17. Now that’s a bargain!
2. We’re all volunteer run
Everyone who contributes their time to Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop is a dedicated volunteer who wants to give back to their community. And we’re always looking for new volunteers to join us! Interested? Discover the possibilities of volunteering here: http://www.ecathriftshop.org/volunteers.html
3. We always have new items
We’re constantly getting in new items. What’s here today could be gone tomorrow and tomorrow will have a whole bunch of new items. Our ever changing inventory means you’ll find plenty of one-of-a-kind items to complete that special outfit, retro dinner set, or living room gallery wall.
4. We give back to the local community
Since January 2017 we’ve donated $131,000 to local non-profits. From arts to housing, children and youth services to education, and domestic violence prevention to recreation, we support a wide variety of non-profits. Check out all of our grant recipients here: http://www.ecathriftshop.org/recipients.html
Whether you’re looking for a bargain, a vintage jacket, or an item to repurpose for your living room, stop by Eastside Community Aid Thrift Store. While we have bargains all year long, we’re having a huge celebration on August 17 for National Thrift Shop Day. We can’t wait to see what treasures you’ll discover!
Hello, everyone. I want to share some thoughts about how each of us can help meet the needs of others in our community by carefully choosing where to donate items we no longer need, such as clothing and other household goods.
For me, donating money to charities is pretty straightforward. I regularly donate to charities that support causes that mean something to me personally. For instance, I donate money for cancer research since my father and best friend died of cancer. I also give money to environmental groups because I want my grandchildren to live on a healthy planet. Those donations make me feel like I am helping and/or honoring the people I care about most.
I didn’t really think about the value of the used items I donate until I started volunteering at ECA thrift shop. I had been choosing the organization that received them based on the convenience of their location or the ease of dropping them off. I never stopped to consider that donating used goods is almost the same as donating money (the recipient of my used goods turns the goods into money by selling them). After observing this process at ECA thrift shop, I realized that I wanted to have a say in how that money would be used. I wanted it to support causes that I believe in and help people in need. So I did some research.
As far as I know, there are four thrift shops in Kirkland:
There are two main criteria that I think should be considered when deciding where to donate used goods:
1) The type of charitable work the organization does or supports
2) The percentage of its revenue that goes to that charitable work.
According to the American Institute of Philanthropy, a highly efficient, charitable organization usually spends about 75 percent (or more) of its total revenue on charitable programs and the remaining 25 percent on general administration and fundraising.
Here is what I discovered about the four Kirkland thrift stores:
When researching, I found that reading the website of each organization was very helpful. With this information, I can make a much better informed decision about where to donate my used goods.
If you have the time and interest, you could call or email these organizations and ask about anything you wanted to know but couldn’t find online. And, if you don’t mind driving to another nearby town to donate your items, you could research some of the other great Eastside or Seattle area thrift shops.
The point is, carefully choosing where to donate all of my used clothes and household goods enables me to help others in our community in ways that are meaningful to me. I encourage you all to do the same.
Susan is a frequent volunteer at Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop, where she sorts, prices, and stocks merchandise to her heart's content. Before retirement, she owned and operated a consignment shop for women's plus size clothing in Seattle. Through trial and error and talking with customers, she learned a thing or two. An avid "thrift shopper," Susan loves to buy clothing, especially when she gets good quality and value for her money.
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Eastside Community Aid
Every donation makes a difference.
Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop is a 501c3 tax exempt nonprofit organization.
All donations made to us are tax deductible. Tax ID #91-1155373