w ritte n & photo g raphed by SH E R I L BE N NE T T TURNER
ll right. I confess. I’m a bargain shopper. I think that I acquired this hankering for deals at an early age from my mother, Linda, whose penchant for Early American antiques and Americana collectibles led us to many a garage sale, antique mart, and even dusty, old junk shops. Yes, my mother has the uncanny knack of spotting a deal from a mile or a pile away. While her tastes run to things that truly appreciate in value, I tend to search for inexpensive quirky objects that I can remake into other things, or objects with character that can be grouped together to make interesting vignettes in my home. I’ve also been known to stop at trash piles, much to my husband’s chagrin. That old wooden chair you threw out—it’s now in my garden as a plant holder. The little red toy wheelbarrow tossed by the wayside, ditto. To me, it’s all about the thrill of the hunt. I can spend hours just sifting through piles of junk, hopefully in the end finding something that catches my eye. It’s funny, though, something that I pass over just might be what someone else has a use for. I have a friend, for instance, that looks for vintage clothing just for the interesting fabric for her artwork. Another friend collects old record albums. Then there’s the stories of finding that lost work of art or first edition classic book. Recently I found a sweet old Milus lady’s watch for only $1.99 that I’m just sure is encrusted with real diamonds. Who knows? One of the great things about the Greer area is that there are so many non-profit thrift shops close by to bargain hunt in. Not only do they offer great deals on some name-brand clothes, books, pictures, furniture, even vehicles—when you buy from them, the money goes back into the community to help other people. Here’s some information, gleaned from their websites, on three of the most popular organizations that offer thrift stores, as well as some things to look for in each one.
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www.goodwill.org & www.shopgoodwill.com Motto: A hand up, not a hand out Mission: Goodwill is North America’s leading nonprofit provider of education, training, and career services for people with disadvantages, such as welfare dependency, homelessness, and lack of education or work experience, as well as those with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities.
History: Goodwill was founded in Boston in 1902 by Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister and early social innovator. Helms collected used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city, then trained and hired those who were poor to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold or were given to the people who repaired them. Today Goodwill is a $2.4 billion nonprofit organization.
Interesting Tidbit: Since its launch in 1999, shopgoodwill.com—the nation’s first and only internet site owned and operated by a nonprofit organization—has earned more than $55 million for Goodwill programs in the United States and Canada. Participating Goodwill’s from across the country offer for auction on the site a wide array of art, antiques, and collectibles, as well as new and nearly new items pulled from their vast inventories of donated goods.
What to Look For: In my opinion, Goodwill has the best selection of used clothing around. Great especially for seasonal children’s clothing, coats for the whole family, and accessories such as belts and purses. I’ve also had great luck with holiday decorations, dried flower arrangements, and framed art.
Miracle Hill Ministries www.miraclehill.org
Motto: Providing shelter, food, and hope to the Upstate since 1937
Mission: Miracle Hill Ministries serves thousands of meals to those living in their shelters and within the community. They also provide safe, warm shelter for nearly 500 homeless and hurting men, women, and children, as well as operate a shelter for at-risk, teenage boys and a children’s home with
crisis, long-term, and foster care for children from birth to eighteen. They offer five apartments to homeless families striving to keep siblings, mothers with children, and other family groups together. Miracle Hill also leads two recovery programs—Overcomers and Renewal—which help men and women facing life-dominating addictions. The organization employs a trained staff who provide case management, personal and group counseling, daily devotions, and educational opportunities for those in their care.
History: In 1937, a group of Greenville businessmen established a small rescue mission in response to the devastation caused by the Great Depression. That small mission eventually became Miracle Hill Greenville Rescue Mission. In 1957, a small thrift store was established for the purpose of raising operating funds. A milk truck, donated by a local dairy farm, was used at that time to pick up donations. Today, Thrift Operations also plays a vital role in providing work-training skills for the men and women enrolled in Miracle Hill’s recovery programs.
Interesting Tidbit: If you go to their website, you can print off a 25% off clothing coupon to use in their store.
What to Look For: If you’re looking for used hardback and paperback books at a great price this is the place to go. Also, look for glass and chinaware, furniture, framed art, picture frames, mirrors, and knickknacks of all kinds. They also seem to have a lot of used cars and I even saw a boat in front of the store at one time.
The Salvation Army
www.salvationarmyusa.org Motto: Doing the Most Good Mission: The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible and its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. The Salvation Army is active in disaster relief, prisoner rehabilitation, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, fighting human trafficking, elderly services, as well as many other services.
History: Founder William Booth embarked upon his ministerial career in 1852, desiring to win the lost multitudes of England to Christ. He walked the streets of London to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, GreerNow AUGUST 2008
the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute. His wife, Catherine, could accurately be called a cofounder of The Salvation Army. Originally called “The Christian Mission,” the organization was later reorganized along military lines with Booth being called the General and the name of the organization changed to The Salvation Army.
Interesting Tidbit: Wikipedia states that the popular Salvation Army Band began with the Frys, a family of musicians from the village of Alderbury in England, who were hired as “bodyguards” to distract unruly crowds with music as the Salvationists preached.
What to Look For: The Salvation Army has a good selection of electronics, kitchen gadgets, furniture, lamps, framed art, and record albums. And, I don’t know about the other locations, but the Greer store has a huge inventory of golf clubs. Whether you’re a bargain shopper or not, remember what you consider trash just might be someone else’s treasure. It only makes sense to donate unwanted items to organizations such as these, first and foremost because it helps other people in the community, but also because it’s a great way to recycle and your donations are tax-deductable. Happy Hunting!
Moving You In The Right Direction
Julie Brown 864-979-6559
Juliebrown1@charter.net JOY REAL ESTATE Are you looking for a place on the lake, a home on the links, acreage in the country, a mountain view or a downtown setting? For all your real estate needs let me get you moving in the right direction!
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