I could go on, but I think you get the picture. It usually doesn't even phase me to be one of "those kind of people," but when I heard this clip from a local radio station, I practically needed a forklift to get my jaw back up where it belongs.
With another Goodwill store here, and I...and I understand your...your concerns about helping the...the indigent and so on. But I also know that the more we do for people, the more people like that we bring into the city, and I don't think the city can handle too many more of those kind of people either.Those kind of people. Our city can't handle more of those kind of people? The kind of people who shop at thrift stores? The kind of people who support good causes by donating to or spending their money at such places?
I'm not sure what kind of person Marilyn is (though I could venture some guesses, based on that sound bite), but I have a pretty good idea of what kind of person I am, and to say that the notion that the city can't handle too many more of people like me is offensive is the understatement of forever.
I shop at Goodwill. I donate to Goodwill. I am those kind of people. Those kind of people who own property in this city and pay outrageous taxes on it. Those kind of people who work two jobs that serve this community. Those kind of people who value conservation, and the three "R's", Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Those kind of people who are on a tight budget and stretch their dollars by checking places like Goodwill first before they buy new. Those kind of people who work to teach their kids to be responsible with their money, to spend it wisely, to have compassion for others, and to give of themselves as they are able.
I'm not alone. I'm not an anomaly. I happen to know and love a lot of "those kind of people".
People like Kym, a military wife and mother, who says:
I shop at thift stores for various reasons. 1. I like a good bargain. 2. I like being able to give my money to an organization (like Goodwill) which provides job and various other services to people who need them. 3. I like buying 2nd hand because of the environmental benefits.
We are a military family and while we aren't on a "tight" budget, I firmly believe in making every dollar stretch. We are on a journey towards being debt free (we should be debt free by summer!) and making wise decisions about how we spend our money is an important part of that. Why should I pay $50 dollars for a pair of GAP jeans when I can find them at Goodwill for $4 and put the rest of that $46 dollars towards savings, getting out of debt sooner or towards something better for my family? To me, that's just common sense.
People like Amy, a peace advocate and parent educator, who says:
We shop at thrift stores for many reasons... to find unique, soft, gently worn in close to new condition clothes at really reasonable prices, to reduce our impact on the environment through no need for new packaging and advertising as well as reusing items that are still in very usable condition. I like that used clothes are already washed and broken in so there's no chance of uncomfortable shrinkage. The kids like that they can get more for less. Sometimes we can find clothes and household items at a thrift store that have personality instead of just being part of the latest fad (not that some family members aren't lured to new purchases by fads). I also love filling bags of still usable items to take to the thrift store when we go. It feels good to give also.
People like Leah, a Masters level educated University Librarian, who says:
I love shopping at thrift stores for unique home decorations and craft project supplies. Goodwill always has a nice selection of vases, candle sticks, picture frames, holidy themed items, etc. I don't really think specifically about shopping at a "thrift store", Goodwill is just another stop on my regular route of places to browse and hunt for interesting things.Also, we donate our own gently used clothes and household items to Goodwill when we are ready to say goodbye to them. I like being on both sides of the "someone's trash is someone else's treasure" notion!
People like Ameya, a single mother and student, who says:
I used to love retro thrift store clothes but now I mostly like it for interesting house decorations. It makes more sense to go clothes shopping at thirft stores for my toddler who outgrows his clothes too quickly to spend 18$ on an outfit.
People like Maija, a professor with a PhD in Health and Social Psychology, who says:
Why would i drop $65 on pants that i can get for $5 with the added bonus of knowing how they'll hold up in the laundry? I get great deals on well-made wool, silk, etc. clothes that other people buy but are afraid to wear because they have weird care instructions. And impulse kitchen gadgets are way more practical to thrift than buy off late night tv.
People like Maegen, a doula and expectant single mother, who says:
I shop at thrift stores right now because it's what I can afford. I shop at thrift stores when I can afford more because I hate to pay full price for anything. I hate consumerism. Why would I go to Target or Sears or Baby Gap to shop for my son and pay $10-$40 for something that I can find for $1.50 at Unique Thrift? He'll grow out of it in 2 weeks anyhow. I don't want to be a sucker. I want to participate in that game as little as possible. But then there's the excitement of thrifting. What little treasure will I find today? Some of my most beautiful pieces in my wardrobe are thrift finds. I bought a gorgeous Mission-style bedframe for $12.50 + $1.36 for bolts at a half-off day at the Brown Elephant. I'm sure it's a $400 bed. Also, when I'm pretty close to broke and I'm having the urge to shop (I would say that I have had an addiction to retail in the past. The urge for 'retail therapy' is still intense sometimes.) I can go to the thrift store and squash that need with $10 instead of $100.
People like Leah, a full-time working mother, who says:
I actually donate more often than I shop, but that is mainly because I do not have much money to shop with. I am married and work a professional full-time job, but we live on one income. My husband cannot work due to medical issues. He takes care of our toddler daily so we don't have to pay for daycare. We are not home owners; we rent. We get some state financial assistance, but it isn't much. We still struggle. And, we do not spend any money on cigarettes, drugs, or even alcohol.
What's wrong with those kind of people? What's wrong with people who are hard working, environmentally conscious, altruistic, creative, financially responsible, educated, and conscious about just how and where there dollars are spent? I've lived in this city for 25 years, and I would welcome oodles more of those kind of people to my city. They're welcome to move into my quiet, modest neighborhood, with a Goodwill store in easy walking distance. What this city can't handle any more of are people with misguided, offensive, classist attitudes like the one Ms. Wigdahl espoused.
Ms. Wigdahl, I am one of those kind of people, and I do believe you owe us an apology.