Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Salvation Army Thrift Store - From Donations to Bargains

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great Christmas and are getting ready to welcome the New Year in tomorrow evening.

In my last post about my ceramic Christmas village, I promised I'd share the newspaper article I wrote for the Times Chronicle about The Salvation Army Thrift Store located in Wilmington, Massachusetts - where I had purchased my collection of ceramic houses. It was a store I frequented often where I found great items to decorate and even furnish my home with. I'll share a couple photos at the end - a few of my favorite things!  ♫♪♬

(If you receive this post via email and you wish to leave a comment and/or view this post inside my blog, you must click on the title link of the post inside your email. Reading blog posts from their source always ensures yours eyes are doubly blessed by beautifully decorated blogs.😊)

Here's a photo of my article published in the Middlesex East section of the Daily Times Chronicle dated December 8/9, 2004. An employee of the newspaper took the photo of the store.

Here's the article as it was published: 
It’s during the holidays that gift-giving and donations to charities are encouraged and emphasized.  The familiar red kettle and cling-clang of the bell ringers are seen and heard in the malls and shopping centers.  But there’s also another way to give to this familiar charity and benefit yourself at the same time.  The Salvation Army Thrift Store, located at 625 Main Street in Wilmington, is a collector’s paradise and a bargain hunter’s dream.   
To the cost-conscious consumer, the Thrift Store offers a wide variety of items for sale.  Something “new” arrives everyday.  From china and dishes, collectibles and clothes, to books and bedding, shoes and furniture, jewelry and toys, other people’s discards become another person’s treasure.
Originally called The Christian Mission, The Salvation Army was the creation of General William Booth and his wife, Catherine, in 1865.  The organization provided food and shelter to the urban, working class poor of England, the orphans, the penniless and castoffs of society.  Its foremost aim was saving souls, bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ through evangelistic meetings. General Booth was zealous and had a passion for soul winning. His daughter, Evangeline, later became the first woman to serve as General.  

In 1878, the mission changed its name to The Salvation Army.  It became a real army with corps, flags, ceremonials, military badges, ranks, brass bands, and uniforms.  In 1879, mission converts, Amos and Annie Shirley, and their daughter, Lieutenant Eliza Shirley, who had immigrated to the United States, unofficially started the work in Philadelphia.  After sending enthusiastic reports of their work to England and a request for help, General Booth sent a small group from England.  

On March 10, 1880, Commissioner George Scott Railton and “seven sisters” arrived in New York.  They were the first ones to wear uniforms.  Railton wore a “dark blue suit, cutaway coat and a high peaked hat.”  The ladies wore “short blue dresses, blue coats trimmed in yellow, and Derby hats.”  The hats had red bands around them on which the words “The Salvation Army” were embroidered in gold.  The style of uniforms has changed many times since then.   Upon their arrival, The Salvation Army became an official organization in the United States.  In 10 years, the organization had spread its evangelical crusade and social welfare program to 43 states.
Now over 120 years old, the organization has spread internationally and is in almost every corner of the world. The Salvation Army is still dedicated to its main purpose of reaching souls for Christ as well as providing help and aid to the less fortunate. Their many services include adult rehabilitation centers, temporary shelters and low cost housing for those on pensions or social security, and disaster relief - local, regional and national. 
During Christmas time, donations provide meals, clothing and toys for families in need. Gifts are distributed in nursing homes and hospitals. There are many families who require and receive help throughout the year, those who are struggling with family problems, who need employment or are dealing with emotional issues. Another source of revenue comes through the many thrift stores.
The benefits of the Thrift Store are threefold - it's a great place for bargains, a place where we can donate our used items, and the rehabilitation centers use the stores as training sites. A major part of the rehabilitation of men and women is through work therapy. The thrift stores help them gain self-esteem and achieve valuable vocational skills.
Shopping at the thrift store becomes an addiction.  What will I find today?  Perhaps a comfy wing chair for my library and books to fill the shelves.  Hardcover books for a buck, paperbacks for 50 cents.  Children’s books and cookbooks.  Old record albums and videos.  Rocking chairs and couches, baby carriages and strollers, bicycles, tables and chairs.  Clothing for men, women and children.  Maybe there’s another ceramic lighted house and my Victorian Christmas village will be complete.  Looking for an economical hostess gift?  Check out the glassware for a lovely vase or cut glass candy dish. 
The Thrift Store is a great place for college students on a budget where they can find pots and pans, mugs, dishware and flatware for their dorm rooms.  Dollar days, senior citizen discount days bring the low prices even lower.  If you don’t see what you’re looking for, keep coming back.  Patience and perseverance will eventually pay off and you’ll find that perfect chair or tea pot you’ve always wanted.
Thrift Store hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  If you purchase an electrical item, such as a lamp or coffee maker, and find that it doesn’t work, it can be returned within two days.  Otherwise, all sales are final.
As much fun as it is to shop there, consider dropping off your used furniture, clothing and household articles instead of selling them.  You’ll be donating them to a worthwhile organization. There is always someone else who can benefit from the items you can’t use anymore.  Donations are received in the back of the store from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  They will not take skis or ski equipment, magazines or encyclopedias.  Items should be in good condition - not broken, ripped or stained.  Questions?  Call 978-988-9488.  For more information on The Salvation Army and their many services, log onto their website:
This wooden mantel clock was purchased for seven dollars.
Victorian floor lamp
I love these cherry bowls. Can't believe someone gave them away so I could purchase them for cheap!

In the photo above, the large white platter on the shelf came from the thrift store, as well. It has a raised fruit design around the perimeter. I purchased the candelabra at Value Village here on the island. It came with some ivy and I added more along with twinkle lights. I also use it at craft fairs to hold my carpet bags. 

The "Bridewater" dishware displayed on the shelf were free to me! Bridgewater is made in England by Emma Bridgewater. You may already be familiar with this brand. These particular pieces are from her cream earthenware line called Black Toast. (Check online to see more of what this company offers.) 

I found these pieces by the side of the road in Woburn, MA while biking! I was passing a house on Pearl Street not too far from my home in Burlington when I spied a couple bags deposited on the ground by the homeowners. I got a glimpse of dishes peeking out and immediately stopped to see what wares were being tossed. Oh my soul! What a find! Two deep baskets on my bicycle came in handy to tote my new found wares (Bridgewater mugs and two bowls plus a small white platter that isn't in the photo.) I had a habit of using a towel in my bike baskets to cushion and keep whatever I was carrying with me from bouncing around. That towel sure came in handy that day on my 10-mile bike ride!

I don't frequent thrift stores too much now as there comes a point where a person doesn't need any more stuff  and occasionally I go through a clean-out phase and bring unwanted and unnecessary items to the local Mission Thrift store on the island for someone else to benefit from. And during my infrequent window shopping excursions through the local thrift and Habitat stores,  I do find something I can use, such as a new scarf for five dollars or a matching set of bedroom lamps for forty! When your bedroom is still lacking in lighting, then that purchase is worthwhile!

Have yourself a very wonderful Happy New Year!


  1. Love love love all those things!!!

  2. These thrift stores have been such a blessing to my family and I. Greatly meets a need. It looks like you have found some treasures there as well! Love the clock most of all!

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