For less than $12 bucks one can Uber from one end of the ‘thrift store corridor’ in Daytona Beach to the other, but it will cost a bit more if you make stops at each consignment store in between. With more than ten stores of vintage garb in a 2-3 mile radius some may feel overwhelmed with which ones to choose as google and yelp reviews reveal broad accounts for what to expect in these stores. Though one detailed review urges those in search of a clean buy to shop at Family Renew Community Secret Attic Thrift Store with, “The cleanest and well run store. Many good buys and helping families too.” If sticking with ‘what you know’ when thrifting is more your style, like the national chains Salvation Army or Goodwill, lucky for you, they are located within the corridor.
Most people I spoke with shopped in thrift stores at least once a month and, shockingly, around ten percent of those shoppers do not wash their finds before wearing. While that news alone is cringeworthy, more so is the fact that almost fifty percent of those surveyed believe that Goodwill and Salvation Army both donate at least some of their proceeds to some cause, besides their wallet. A study showed that less than a quarter of thrift shoppers really cared where the proceeds for their purchases were allocated.
The nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, Goodwill Industries International Inc. has been accepting donations since the early 1900’s but did not fall under scrutiny over distribution of the proceeds until much later. While Reverend Edgar J. Helms of Morgan Methodist Chapel in Boston, who started the program, collected donations and then donated to those in need, today’s retail stores conduct business a bit differently. With more than 32,000 retail stores collecting and reselling donations daily, most may assume that Goodwill is really doing their part to help society. The companies website goodwill.org shares an article from Forbes where they are listed as one of the twenty five most inspiring companies. “Goodwill has a tried and true history of being a household name and respected brand,” said Kim Zimmer, chief communications officer and senior VP of global affairs at Goodwill Industries International. “Consumers have come to understand that by shopping and donating at your local Goodwill store, they are investing in their local community.” (http://www.goodwill.org/about-us/goodwill- named-one-of-americas-most-inspiring-companies-by-forbes/).
According to Snopes, Goodwill Industries International is not a business that takes in donated items and resells them for a profit. It is a not-for-profit organization that provides job training, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who
have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges. Goodwill raises money for their programs through a chain of thrift stores which also operate as non-profits. Reportedly, current president and CEO of Goodwill, Jim Gibbons received over $700,000 in compensation in 2015. With only $0.08 of each dollar donated to the needy, one may surmise where the rest of the money ends up.