Thrift Store Heroes: Loyal Customer Embodies Spirit of the Season all Year Long

Jackie on one of her daily shopping trips to Goodwill.

Jackie on one of her daily shopping trips to Goodwill.

It’s December – a month that really exemplifies the spirit of giving among many individuals — so it seems only fitting to highlight Jackie, a loyal Goodwill customer, and her acts of kindness this month. However, Jackie isn’t just inspired to give during the holiday season. She gives selflessly and often all year long.

I recently had the privilege of speaking with Jackie to find out more about the ways she gives through her shopping at Goodwill and why. And I must say that after talking with her, I truly felt a sense of what it means to have a giving heart.

Quality and variety make Jackie a loyal Goodwill customer

Jackie is what I would call a regular fixture at the Waterloo Rd. store. Practically every day she’s there looking for something she, or others, need –which can be anything from microwaves to refrigerators, televisions, baby strollers, bicycles, clothing…you name it.  And with her frequent visits, she is able to find what she’s looking for sooner or later. She appreciates the quality of the items, and has been told she has a ‘good eye’ with purchases. Living with the belief ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive,’ Jackie finds shopping not only fun, but therapeutic for her personal health.

When she finds something she likes, she purchases it because she knows she can find someone who can use and enjoy it. And sitting on her porch seeing others walk by wearing or enjoying items that she finds is what brings her the most joy.

Small gestures leave lasting impressions on strangers
I was humbled to learn that oftentimes Jackie doesn’t know many of the people she buys things for — she simply enjoys doing it. Recipients are more than willing to thank her with hugs and words of appreciation, but she asks that they only thank the spirit that helps guide them through life. She believes she is doing her guiding spiritual power’s will whenever she is able to find something someone is looking for, and that it was something laid on her heart.

Even when Jackie isn’t finding specific items for people, she is still called to give. One of her most memorable experiences at Goodwill was being in line behind someone who was purchasing clothes and didn’t have enough to cover the cost of the bill. She overheard the conversation and paid for the items for him – something she admits she does a lot.  And it was something he didn’t soon forget, because later when he saw her somewhere else, he asked her if she remembered him and recalled that day at Goodwill.

Give and you shall receive
Jackie looks out for others and believes that her guiding spiritual power looks out for her. She shares what little bit she has with others to give them what they need, believing that she will receive what she needs in due time as well.

Perhaps this holiday season we should all follow Jackie’s mantra and put others before ourselves. And if we are truly following Jackie’s example, we shouldn’t limit it to just a month – we should do it all year long.

∼ Kim Rohr