Friday, July 24, 2015

Tales from the Thrift

Tales from the Thrift

I've been volunteering extra at the Thrift Store because a couple cashiers are on summer vacation, and I have the time. 

Yesterday a woman came in and bought sheets to try to keep the mosquitoes off her and her friends who are sleeping outside. (In the warm weather, some say that's a nicer option than the homeless shelters, biting bugs notwithstanding.)

I sold her the sheets half-price ($1.25 each). 
(Volunteers aren't supposed to adjust prices, but I know no one would disapprove. (Or almost no one, and I wouldn't care if they did.))

One of the part-time paid staff members told me he'd lived on the streets for 18 months himself.
"I didn't used to like bug spray," he said. "All those chemicals, you know--but sleeping out, bug spray is your friend."

"Eighteen months..." I said. "Wow. That's longer than a tour of duty." 

"That's what I called it," he said. "It started out as a social experiment, but I didn't know what I was getting into, and then it became a tour of duty."

"An experiment?" I said. "What were you testing?"

"I wondered if people treated you different, if you were homeless," he said.

"And what did you find out?" I said. "Did they treat you different?"

"Yes," he said.

Yes. Well, that's what you'd figure, wouldn't you? Not sure why he wanted to test it out on himself. 

But anyway, he's one of the good things about the store. 

 Our store is near freeways where people who live on the streets congregate---there are places to "sign" (hold signs asking for money/work) and places to sleep, though the police move them on.
It's quite obvious that some customers rely on the store as a source of affordable clothing.
In the winter we have a coat drive at a nearby church.

This is not our sign---it's from a Canadian thrift store run by the SPCA (society for the prevention of cruelty to animals).


Susanne g said...

I found your blog through comments in "things I find in the garbage" which I also love. You have an excellent blog. Don't stop.

Fresca said...

Thanks for dropping by, Susanne!