I LOVE thrift stores: let me count the ways. They are good for the community, good for the environment, and, not least of all, good for my mental and financial health. What's not to like?
As in everything, there is a dark side to thrift stores. I don't think I've ever written about this aspect of the thrifts; perhaps I will one day.
Today, I was reminded of the dark side and reminded too of the potential for conflicting values, even in thrift shopping. Since I had a library book to return, I went to the Food Bank Thrift Store, which is very close. This is an odd place, and has had the oddest series of managers. Still: who could argue with the mission? It funds the Food Bank and also a free dental clinic for the needy. So I like to stop by when I'm in the neighborhood.
As I gathered a few items, I heard one of the volunteers explaining to new recruits the items they discard: Harry Potter and other books of witchcraft. I realize this is a common (mis)belief. They were discussing the books in a jeering tone. I paid and left without saying a word.
What do you do when your values conflict with the values of an organization you patronize?
Poor books! I hope they found a home and were not relegated to the trash heap.