Thrift: Helping the Environment One Item at a Time

thrift store

One of our goals here at Gift & Thrift is to keep as much as possible out of the landfill. We do our best to rescue and recycle items big and small. Many of the items that are donated are like new, crisp, shiny, and bright. These things are easy to find homes for.

But we also get to be the Waystation for Misfit Toys, Dog-Eared Books, and chipped figurines. Items less than perfect, yet still seeking a new life come our way every day. Last week, I came across an aerobics Barbie whose hip was broken. She was literally broken in two. The whole day, she hung out on the table while I sorted and bagged other items. At the end of the day, I decided I’d place her in a bag for $1 as Broken Hip Barbie. When I looked for her the following afternoon, someone had already bought her!

Part of what is so exciting and interesting about working in Thrift is that a lot of what we sell can be the wellspring of someone’s Imagination. The broken globe becomes a lamp, the boring sun hat becomes a little girl’s tea party floral hat of whimsy, plastic bags become a braided rug, random nuts, bolts and hardware become a fanciful critter, and Broken Hip Barbie becomes who knows what?

It’s about giving things a chance, allowing them their time on the sales floor to find the creative person who sees that new life within the things. You or I may not see the value in it, but we can pause and believe that someone will. We can rescue it from the landfill this time around and rejoice in the wonder of what it may become.

We have an Upcycle department which has sold tens of thousands of dollars worth of stuff that literally was destined for the dumpster. Everyone who works, volunteers, or shops at Gift & Thrift has certainly seen the potential in some strange or broken item and paused to wonder what might become of that donation with the help of another’s imagination.

We get to be better stewards of our environment, and those small incremental sales of Broken Hipped Barbies allow us to support our Team, our Community, and the mission of MCC.

What random finds at Gift & Thrift have made your heart leap with excitement?