Thrift Store Heroes: Retail Therapy, Great Deals Motivate Customer To Become Self-proclaimed Cheerleader For Goodwill

th13To say that Maria has faced a lot of hurdles the past few years — a battle with cancer, experiencing the elimination of a job she held for 30 years — would be an understatement, but I’d never know it from talking to her. Her passion and excitement for the things in life she loves most…like her two grandkids, and yes, even her trips to Goodwill – is undeniable.

When Maria lost the income her and her family depended on during a time when medical expenses were quite high, she had to be more frugal with purchases. Fortunately for her, she lives close to the Goodwill store on Waterloo Rd., and she says the great deals she gets there have been a lifesaver.

Retail therapy is a powerful thing
I, for one, am a big fan of retail therapy. But for Maria it’s even more meaningful.  She says it helps take her mind off cancer or any cares that she has. And the happiness that she feels when she finds something she, her grandchildren or family needs is a feeling she says we could all use more of in our lives.

Goodwill has everything you need, and some fun things, too
Her daily walks take her to Goodwill, where all the employees know her by name and always take the time to greet her and ask about her grandchildren.

During her visits, she’s purchased handmade, woolen rugs, a variety of furniture, pots and pans – and believe it or not – even doggie pads for her daughter’s Chihuahua. Many of these items were from well-known stores and manufacturers including IKEA®, Pier 1, Serta and La-Z-Boy®. In addition, she’s purchased many name-brand clothes –some of which she said she couldn’t afford even when working. And, she’s started a collection of perfume atomizers and Precious Moments dolls she plans to give her granddaughter someday.

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th5wEven with all of those goodies, Maria still prides herself on two specific purchases:

  • A $15 Fisher-Price Step ‘N Play Piano
  • A $10 Little Tikes Push Tricycle

Both of these items retail for around $100. And I thought I knew how to sniff out great bargains!


Give back and Goodwill gives to you (or A dollar spent is a point earned)
Maria is so thankful for all of the wonderful items she’s been able to find that she makes sure to donate to Goodwill whenever she can. Not only does she feel good because she is giving, she appreciates receiving a 20 percent coupon to use at the store. She said she also loves the point-based reward system for purchases. For every dollar Maria spends, she receives a point, and when she reaches 100 points she receives a 35 percent coupon – a feat she’s proudly accomplished an estimated 30 times! This coupon, she says, is not only a thrill to receive, but a big help to her and a nice way for Goodwill to thank its customers.

Maria didn’t hesitate to tell me that she considers herself a cheerleader for Goodwill, and tells everyone she meets about all the wonderful things they can find there. Based on the enthusiasm she showed me, I am not surprised. At the beginning of our chat, she said she couldn’t wait to tell me why she LOVES Goodwill.

If Goodwill ever needed a spokesperson, I’d say I’ve met the best candidate for the job!

∼ Kim Rohr