Finding Salvation

The musty smell. The color-coded aisles. The 50 % off sales on $2 items. These are integral parts of one of my favorite places to visit- a Salvation Army thrift store.

Technically called “family stores,” these establishments help support many people in need. They help provide low-income shoppers with wide selections of clothing and home goods that would be difficult to afford elsewhere. These stores also provide individuals with the chance to donate unwanted possessions they would likely throw away. Most importantly, however, Salvation Army stores help people like myself find sweet things with value far exceeding their discounted prices.

Where else could I find a Michael Vick jersey these days?

In all seriousness, I do frequent the “Salvo” during the school year. It’s a great place to find items that are too obscure to be found in traditional stores, and too ridiculous to be sold on eBay. You can find great bargains on anything from frosted cereal-themed pajama pants to XXXL-sized lime green sports coats. You never know when these purchases will come in handy. Screw Syms. I bring my educated consumerism to The Salvation Army.

Ever need an idea for a Halloween costume? Forget ordering that generic Captain Jack Sparrow suit and head on over your nearest Salvation Army store location. Last October, I was lacking creativity, so I made a pilgrimage to one of these great inspirational sites.  After several minutes of browsing the store, I came across a Boston Bruins hockey jersey on one of the shelves. Being a New York Rangers fan, I was convinced I had no use for this sweater. However, I quickly learned I was mistaken after noticing a random golf putter on nearby display. Juxtaposing the putter with Bruins jersey gave me the brilliant idea of being the great Happy Gilmore for the holiday. The costume’s price was right, bitch! For just $4, I had an original costume I could proudly wear.

Some people think it’s repulsive that I shop at the Salvation Army. These ignorant fools argue that because I don’t know who previously owned my purchases, they could be tainted. Come on. People receive blood donations from strangers! While careful diagnostic tests are done to ensure that this occurs safely, Salvation Army shoppers can also be proactive by efficiently sterilizing all of their hand-me-downs before use.

Look, Salvation Army thrift stores are not for everybody. But they certainly are for me. Unless you check one out, you’ll never know what you’re missing.


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One comment

  1. dlbank14 says:

    thanks for shedding some light on the Salvo…I however, still prefer to shop at "the Nordo" aka Nordstrom.

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