Local thrift stores offer bargain fashion for a cause

By Jason Pfrommer

DeKALB | Goodwill stores across the nation participate in discount days, but DeKalb’s Goodwill, 1037 S. Annie Glidden Road kg/pc, is one of the only Goodwill locations to offer its patrons a Dollar Day Sale.

Store Manager Aaron Bick kg/pc said the idea to offer customers a Dollar Day came from Rockford Goodwill locations. Goodwill stores in Rockford hold “Easy as 123” sales during which clothing is $1.23.

Bick said that profit is not the reason Goodwill offers customers such a bargain on clothing. Ninety-five cents of every dollar the store earns is put into community-based programs like classes and training seminars for the less fortunate.

According to the Goodwill Northern Illinois website http://www.goodwillni.org/aboutus/annualreport2010.html – pc, there were almost 4,000 people during 2010 that were taught basic skills or assisted in job training programs funded by Goodwill donations.

“We’re not just another retail store,” Bick said. “We’re here to help people that might fall on hard times and let them know they have a place they can come to get a deal on clothing.”

Store Supervisor Devon Wilcox kg/pc said the store loses money when it holds its Dollar Day events but it’s a way to get Goodwill’s name circulating in the community.

In addition to Dollar Day, Goodwill holds a Senior Day on Wednesdays, which takes an additional 10 percent off for senior citizens, and offers a student discount on Thursdays, which takes 10 percent off for customers with a valid school ID.

Customers also find deals every other day of the week when Goodwill offers 50 percent off specific merchandise, depending on the day. Items on sale are identified by a certain color tag.

Salvation Army, 1814 Sycamore Road kg, offers sales similar to Goodwill’s in which any items tagged with a certain color will be 50 percent during that week.

Store manager Dave Dunlap kg said the only time the color of the week items aren’t 50 percent off are Fridays during the “Five for Five” sale, in which a customer can purchase five items for $5, and Saturdays, when the color of the week items cost 49 cents.

In addition to weekly sales at Salvation Army, students are able to take an additional 10 percent off their purchase by presenting their student ID.

Salvation Army will also be holding a Christmas in July sale that runs through Wednesday. Dunlap said any item with red or green in them will be half off and all Christmas décor will be 75 percent off.

“Even if you get a shirt that has a red spot on it it’s still 50 percent off,” Dunlap said.

Dunlap said the funds received by the store help local and national causes. Some projects Salvation Army undertakes include feeding the homeless, helping people with drug and alcohol problems and providing assistance for hurricane victims.