Group 2 3 min Read

A Culture of Giving

Thrift Culture is full of designer deals and unique pieces – but it’s also a culture of giving designed to serve a very unique purpose. It provides the 3,600+ students and their families living in poverty in Bellevue with year-round access to quality clothing for school, work and interviews. For many of these families, new clothing is a luxury they cannot afford.

“Shoes are expensive,” shared one single mom shared. “I can’t afford to buy a pair of shoes. And for kids, that’s important stuff. Clothes, shoes, having what you need for school – it’s important [so they can be] happy, secure and proud.”

Bellevue LifeSpring provides families like these with vouchers to shop at Thrift Culture so they purchase new and gently-used clothing and shoes. Most often, vouchers are provided for children to shop. Sometimes they are extended to parents as well when they’re in need of clothing for work or an interview.

There are three types of assistance provided through Thrift Culture:

  1. Thrift Culture Coupons: A $20 credit toward purchase, typically given to families new to Bellevue LifeSpring to introduce them to Thrift Culture.
  2. Thrift Culture Voucher: Given to families for year-round clothing needs. The average voucher is $150 but varies according to family size. Vouchers are usually limited to purchases of shoes or clothing.
  3. Clothing Express: Allows students in need of emergency clothing to shop within 24 hours of referral by a school counselor. This program is aimed at students experiencing homelessness who often have no other resources to replace worn or outgrown clothing.

Last year, Bellevue LifeSpring awarded nearly $11,000 in Thrift Culture vouchers to mothers who needed professional clothing for interviews, fathers who needed clothing for a new job and children who grow faster than their wardrobes or their family’s budgets can keep pace with.

“You don’t want to look like what you’re going through.”

After their family experienced a fire and lived briefly in transitional housing, one of the first services Amina received from Bellevue LifeSpring was a Thrift Culture voucher. “You don’t want to look like what you’re going through,” she shared. Thrift Culture gives families in need with more than just clothing – support from Thrift Culture also provides confidence, dignity and stability for families living in an unpredictable world.

“[My kids] don’t have to go to school worried about if their clothes are going to be too small, too little, too this, too that,” Amina continued. “You don’t have to worry about if you’re going to get a winter coat.”

You create the culture of giving.

Thrift Culture relies on community donations to stock its shelves. Your gently-used clothing, shoes and accessories can help families like Amina’s get back on their feet after a crisis. They can provide a student experiencing homelessness with warmth and a sense of community. Give your clothing new life – donate today to Thrift Culture!

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