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Nathan Kitzmann column: Help support the Boy's and Girl's Club -- buy from the Thrift Store

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Not long ago, the Detroit Lakes Tribune published an article concerning the growth and recent successes of Detroit Lakes' Boys and Girls Club.

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My mother and two of my brothers visited the facility recently and came back with the report that our local Boys and Girls club has, indeed, greatly improved since its earlier years.

Although I have never been a member of this particular organization, I am happy to hear that it is becoming so successful, and attribute part of this success to a place that I have visited many times before; the recently opened Boys and Girls Club Thrift Store, or, as I will henceforth call it, The Thrift Store.

I realize that the words "thrift store" can tend to conjure images of a rundown shack selling scratched records and pink lampshades, but this particular thrift store is not like that at all.

Rather, I have actually stumbled upon some very useful finds in this place, and am continually surprised by the general cleanliness and quality of the items found in the this store.

The stuffed animals are never stained, the clothes are always clean, and the board games generally have all of their pieces -- at least the critical ones.

In addition, their book selection is very good, and I can often be seen pondering over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore that I found there.

Last Christmas, instead of doing their shopping at a Dollar Store, my two youngest brothers decided (or rather it was decided for them) that they would upgrade, and instead fulfill their Christmas shopping needs at The Thrift Store.

Needless to say, they found some very interesting gifts. But by far the most interesting of them was what my 8-year-old brother bought me for Christmas: a can of artificial snow.

Though I never actually used this can of fake snow for its intended purpose, I was touched that my younger brother bought me something that he truly believed would turn everything that it was sprayed upon into actual snow.

But, in spite of all the interesting finds, great deals, and yes, extremely friendly staff, this thrift store actually has many other benefits as well. It keeps items that are potentially useful to somebody out of the landfill, supports a philanthropic organization, and provides an economic boost to the community.

In a society that is constantly telling us to consume, in a world where practically everything is disposable, places that sell used items are a refreshing oasis from a mindset that is polluting our world, deadening our economy, and ultimately benefiting only a privileged few.

Rather than ending up in the hands of a massive corporation, the money that you spend at the thrift store (which is not usually very much) will support a growing cause.

The Boys and Girls Club of America is an organization that is, in its own words, "inspiring and enabling all young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens."

In conclusion, I urge you to support this organization by shopping there, and if not that, donating some of your unused or unwanted items to the Boys and Girls Club Thrift Store.

Everybody will benefit, even you. Do you have a purse that doesn't match any of your other accessories? Do you own a stroller, but no baby to put into it? Getting rid of annoying clutter is a beautiful thing, as I have found myself, and I hope that you too can experience the joy of not only making your house seem much more spacious and attractive by emptying it of items you have no use for, but empowering yourself with the knowledge that you are ultimately benefiting everybody.

No matter what you decide to donate, whether it is a pink lampshade or a rusty can of artificial snow, somebody will find a use for it. Go ahead, be a spend-thrift. Shop 'till you drop. Who knows? You might just save the planet.

(Nathan Kitzmann is a freshman and is homeschooled.)

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