For as long as I can remember, thrift stores, Goodwills, dollar-a-pounds, etc. have been a pastime of searching and finding, uncovering and exploring. When we were little, Dad lived in the West End of Portland when that thrift shop was where Gorham Bike & Ski is now. Whoa! We went there almost every weekend and I tried my hand at collecting salt shakers, crocheted shirts, shot glasses, you name it.
Since then, I’ve honed my craft a little more. I seek out sets either for use in my kitchen or to resell on Etsy or Ebay to equally discerning buyers. I look for oddities among the trashpiles of crummy mass-produced dishes in the back of the store. I’m a boatneck-seeking missile in the ladies’ department.
For all that Goodwill (and Salvation Army, and countless others) have done for me, this year I decided to donate all my surplus to them. I’ve made one run already and plan on making a few more before the end of the year. You might be asking yourself, though: Why?
Reason #1 is that filling your apartment or your home with useless junk from Target may be fun while things are on sale, but eventually the weight of your material possessions will distract you from the person you actually are. Giving the non-essentials that you’re willing to part with to others will not only be nice for them, but you’ll feel like a snake shedding your skin.
Reason #2 is that you can write all this good behavior off on your 2011 taxes. Giving for giving’s sake is nice, but let’s be honest, folks, Audrey’s working two jobs, three if you count my brief shifts at the coffee shop here and there, and every little bit helps. For three bags of books and clothes I got a $100 credit and all I had to do was tell the guy how much it was worth and he signed it for me! P.S. You might want to itemize your donations, in case of an audit.