ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Salvation Army Thrift Store

Updated on July 24, 2015
WVitanyi profile image

William has written five books, on topics ranging from technological fiction to office humor, and is the owner of Bayla Publishing.

Salvation Army Thrift Store, Erie, Pa.
Salvation Army Thrift Store, Erie, Pa.

A Slice of Humanity

If you spend any time at all in the Thrift Store you will learn that the people who shop there are not homogeneous. They speak various languages, come from a variety of cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds, and are of virtually all religious, political, and sexual orientations.

In this cross-section of humanity you find all kinds. Some shop there because they need to extend scant resources as far as possible, some are looking to find a hidden Monet and retire early, and some simply want retro clothes - which you just can't find new.

Whatever the reason, we flock to the Thrift Store in droves, and our ongoing visitation creates a living population of shopping diversity.

Found at the Thrift Store
Found at the Thrift Store

Local Offering

The Thrift Store on upper Peach Street in Erie, Pennsylvania is fairly typical, and as a regular patron with a curious mind, the origins of this place intrigued me. The blending - in name at least - of the religious and the military was to me a curiosity worthy of investigation, and so I did some research.

According to its website, the Salvation Army's objectives are "the advancement of the Christian religion…of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole."

The Thrift Store doesn't seem to specifically fill any of these rolls. They certainly don't hold services there - as far as I have seen - so how does it fit into the grand scheme?

Militarism Redefined

Founded in London 1865 by William Booth, the Salvation Army has long been two things: communicator of the Gospel in the Christian tradition, and provider of charitable services to those in need. According to their website, since 1878 the Salvation Army has utilized a quasi-military command structure. Even today it "uses uniforms, flags and ranks to identify, inspire and regulate its endeavours."

It is run by a General, and is characterized by the same flexibility and command structure that can be seen in a military organization. Also like a military unit, the Salvation Army has a mission, rooted in its historical origin.

In the Beginning

In 1865 William Booth was a London minister. He decided that the poor, destitute, and homeless needed more than a sermon, so he undertook to recruit established churches to help provide for the needs of these people.

It didn't go so well. The unwashed apparently weren't welcomed with open arms in the mainstream places of worship, so Booth founded a church for them, called the East London Christian Mission. It was not an immediate success, but Booth remained resolute in his faith and his mission. This pairing of faith and action was an integral part of the founder of the Salvation Army, and remains a characteristic of the Salvation Army as an organization today.

Painting by Mary Jane
Painting by Mary Jane

Not Just a Store

Through my research I learned that the Salvation Army provides many services to those in need throughout the world, but specifically, the money generated by the Thrift Stores is used to fund the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers, where people work through various life issues. They also provide work opportunities for people in rehabilitation.

Now when I visit the Salvation Army Thrift Store I appreciate that I am in the midst of an impressive organization that provides numerous services, not just a rack of clothes.

That feels as good as a bargain.

Salvation Army Statistics, January 2014

Community development programmes: 10,859 (number of beneficiaries: 1,087,781)
Homeless hostels: 407 (capacity: 23,752)
Residential addiction dependency programmes: 281 (capacity: 19,800)
Children's homes: 224 (capacity: 9,739)
Homes for elderly persons: 178 (capacity: 7,482)
Mother and baby homes: 45 (capacity: 1,308)
Refuges: 64 (capacity: 1,934)

Community day care centres: 611
Non-residential addiction rehabilitation centres: 91

Services to the armed forces: 86 projects
Disaster rehabilitation schemes: 180 (serving 1,035,396 people)
Prisoners visited: 230,113

General hospitals: 21
Maternity hospitals: 15
Specialist hospitals: 7

Source: http://www.salvationarmy.org/ihq/statistics

Thrift Store Experience

Have you ever shopped in a Salvation Army Thrift Store?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • WVitanyi profile imageAUTHOR

      WVitanyi 

      5 years ago from Edinboro, Pennsylvania

      Thanks for the comment. When you find a store, look for that special item that screams 'buy me', and follow your instincts. Cheers.

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 

      5 years ago from Southeast USA

      Interesting. I am not sure where a salvation army store is. I will be looking though.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)