In late June, I was invited to a reception at the Bargain Box of Wilmington. It is an outreach ministry of the Church of the Servant Episcopal. It was established in 2000 to serve the Wilmington area. It is a thrift shop, carrying clothes for men, women and children, as well as accessories, household items, decorations, books and more; it was my first visit to the place, and I must say I was duly impressed. They have an extensive inventory in their 3000 square feet facility. It is so well organized and set up, it feels like a boutique. Their stock includes a wide range of sizes and prices. One room carries high-end and vintage items; it’s called “The Box Office”, as it was frequently visited by the film community both to purchase items and also to donate them.
Part of their ministry is an emergency needs voucher program, providing assistance to at-risk individuals with basic needs, free of charge. In order to facilitate the program, they provide“Bargain Bucks” to agencies within the community. It is up to each agency to assess the needs of individuals and assign the vouchers as needed. Our guests are then welcome to visit the shop on their own and make purchases using their ‘bucks’. While they are shopping, they are also allowed to access the “Free Bin” which is re-stocked daily.
Bargain Bucks are in $10 increments. One certificate will provide an adult with at least one complete outfit. It can go even further with thrifty shopping taking advantage of discounted clothing and sales items.
The reception is an annual event, held to award the certificates to agencies within the community. This year, they awarded 21 organizations vouchers with a total value of $14,950. In addition to receiving our vouchers, we had a chance to socialize and network with other organizations. We will be distributing our vouchers to individuals that have clothing needs that we are unable to fulfill – perhaps a size we don’t have or some other special need.
The income from regular cash sales supports the voucher program. If you are a thrift store shopper, stop in and visit them. They are located at 4213 Princess Place Drive. www.bargainboxilm.org .
I love their motto – “If we share what we have, we’ll all have enough.”