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Thrift Stores Benefiting Animals

By Jasmin Singer — May 26, 2011

A couple weeks ago, I told you about the clothing swap to benefit the humane education organization, HEART — a creative idea that I immediately fell in love with. Oh, and in case you’re curious, Mariann and I scored at this swap — switching out 26 things that didn’t fit for 26 things that do! I love thrifting a little too much — whether at swaps or at actual thrift stores. In addition to being the most eco-friendly way to wear clothes (reduce, reuse, recycle, rinse, repeat), it fits like a second-hand glove into my budget, and it gives me a nice affordable hobby to look forward to when I’m traveling — and a great story for my wearable souvenirs.

And the best possible kind of thrift store? The ones that benefit animal charities! Last weekend, when Mariann and I were speaking at the amazing New Orleans Veggie Fest, we were lucky enough to meet the adorable Beth Cherry, who, in addition to being a proud owner of a new Our Hen House tote bag (okay, shameless plug), also has the Coolest Job Ever. She works for No Fleas Market, a “resale shop supporting animal welfare.” According to their website, here’s the deal:

Are you in love? Because I am.

Reminds me of another thrift store we visited in Hotlanta a few months ago called Second Life, an “upscale resale store in Atlanta benefitting homeless pets.” Not only did we hit gold at Second Life, but we thoroughly enjoyed our chat with the owner, Tanya Mahrous Tobias, a passionate animal advocate who has always dreamed of opening this store. The list of organizations they support with their sales range from the shelter, Royal Potcake Rescue, to Ahimsa House — which is “dedicated to helping the human animal victims of domestic violence across Georgia reach safety together.” Oh, I’m verklempt now.

A couple years ago, we also were lucky enough to visit another thrift store, this one in Sag Harbor, NY, called ARF (Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons). ARF was where we got our beloved wooden hen bookends, who we named Hephzibah and Amaryllis. (Should I have… admitted that?) And during a visit to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary back in 2009, we stopped by Ruthie’s Animal Rescue Charities Thrift Shop in Kanab, UT.

These are all special memories for us, and every time we look at our goodies, we remember where the money went — to help animals. We also donate to thrift stores on a constant basis. But living in New York City (and carless) does make it challenging to donate specifically to one that benefits animals… Unless someone decides to open a thrift store benefiting animals somewhere around here? We promise to keep you well-stocked! And, of course, wouldn’t it be just ducky to have a thrift store whose proceeds benefited farm animal organizations? By the way, a quick google search got me this article from eHow all about How to Open a Thrift Store.

Even if you’re not in the market to open up a thrift store, you could donate the proceeds of your garage sale, yard sale, or — in the case of us New Yorkers — stoop sale to your favorite animal organizations. Or you could do like HEART did and host a swap. And, if you are able to donate your items to thrift stores that benefit animals, do so! It’s just another way, aside from choosing to eat vegan, that we can vote with our dollars.

Got a favorite thrift store that benefits animals? Please share it in the comments section below!

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