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Finders Keepers...Maybe

After visiting all varieties of thift shops, from high end boutique to bargain basement messy, there is still something comforting about returning to a Goodwill. Goodwill stores are still the quintessential idea for a thrift shop. Folk probably do not know that Goodwill was one of the first to use a then-unique principle in 1902, to resell used goods to those in need, and to use those proceeds to fund employment and training services for those needy as well. But Goodwill was initially the most prolific of thrift stores in the US, and most people’s ideas about thrift shopping are likely based on their first experiences at a Goodwill store somewhere.
So I recently returned to the Goodwill (and their higher-end Keepers store) at 23740 El Toro Lake Forest CA and returned to my thrifting “roots” so to speak. I was not disappointed. Where else can a shopper find such a variety of choices, like a giant garage sale, albeit with color-coordinated goods and departments? In my recent visit to Goodwill, I was reminded once again of the range and variety of goods they routinely offer a thrifter to peruse. How about a vintage free-standing Thermal Ionic Hood hair dryer? Or maybe you need that velvet painting of a peacock, all kitschy and colorful- a steal at $19.99? You may have to hunt through some bookshelves, but at 99 cents a paperback, there are some bargain reading finds available for anyone. My friend and I spotted an unbelievable mantel clock as well, somehow fashioned of ugly gray stones suspended in a clear resin composite shape with the clock face affixed on the front. To my mind, it was a white elephant gift a thousand times over, putting the ultimate “uggh” in ugly. But then again, one man’s meat is another man’s poison, as they say- this is the basic ideological underpinning of any thrift establishment. So who am I to doubt that someone may really want such a clock. That clock did makes me ponder for a while how or why some company made such an item, or that someone even actually purchased it at one time, such was its ugliness…It was not so hard for me to believe that such a mantel clock ended being “re-gifted” to a Goodwill after some relative cleaned out Aunt Matilda’s place though.
While the prices sometimes seem a little high for some of the housewares and dishes, a smart shopper will take advantage of the sales that Goodwill always has. Seniors usually have 25% discount days on Mondays and 15% off on all other days (although check your local store for their variations on that theme, I believe that senior discount days at this El Toro Goodwill were listed I think as Saturdays and Tuesdays). Every week a different colored tag marks those 50% off items, plus there are always special sale days where almost everything in the store is half off (Jan 18 and Feb 1 are currently listed as the upcoming blow-out storewide sales). Military folk showing their ID always get 15% off any day. And Goodwill is in the information age of course, with shoppers able to join their Club Blue for special coupons, discounts and perks.
So I was happy to return to my Goodwill thrifting roots. Goodwill is somehow a comforting establishment to which to return. Theirs is a business that has helped many thousands and continues to do so. There’s nothing like being a part of a system that recycles goods AND helps people with employment and opportunities. Go Goodwill (even if I do hate the fluorescent lighting in many of your stores).
By the way, I am looking for some peacock themed accessories to go with a peacock painting. Any ideas, thrift’n-istas?

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