Shop at Goodwill®: You Never Know What You Might Find (Part 2)

Last winter we shared a post exploring a few quirky, cool, and unexpected things that thrift shoppers have found in Goodwill retail stores. It was so much fun for me to look into your unusual discoveries and since the possibilities truly are limitless, I felt like the time was right for me to compile a part two. So hold onto your second-hand hats, my friends! It’s time to see a few more fortuitous and funky thrift store finds.

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Whenever you’re browsing through donated goods, there’s a strong chance that you are considering aspects of someone’s family history; a piece of hand-thrown pottery crafted by a favorite aunt, Grandma’s reading lamp, Great Uncle Joe’s tackle box, etc. But it’s incredibly rare that the average shopper would stumble upon a piece of history so distinguished that they could recognize its worth right away. And yet, that is almost what happened when an employee of the Lockport store of Goodwill Industries of Western New York (Buffalo) was sifting through donations, preparing them for sale. Amidst other donations, a WWII era Purple Heart award humbly hid. Thankfully, the lucky employee immediately identified the value of the medal and Goodwill instantly launched a social media campaign seeking its rightful owner. Thanks to some hardworking individuals, the Purple Heart made its way back to a family heir and the story made it to front page news. You can find the details, and the happy ending, here.


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Over at Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth (TX) things are just as interesting! In fact, based on their “Rogues Gallery”, I would say some of their donations rival the products for sale in the TV show Oddities! A few notable pieces: the real human skull, the shark in a jar, and this strange lamp. We are all for DIY décor, but I think the creator of this curio may have even scared him/herself! How else would it have ended up in their Goodwill donation box?


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Since Goodwill is an entrepreneurial leader, environmental pioneer, and social innovator of the “reduce, reuse, repurpose” practice, their name has become synonymous with the donation of gently-used goods. So synonymous, in fact, that even famous people donate! Goodwill serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa (Omaha) sold a pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes at one of their stores! This famous designer is best known for creating custom shoes for award shows – especially The Oscars. Who do you think these beauties carried down the red carpet? Your guess is as good as mine! Having only been worn for one incredible night, I’d definitely agree that these were gently-worn. Wouldn’t they be ideal for a summer wedding?

Perhaps curating a well-styled home is about combining three parts function, two parts comfort, and one part surprise. To keep guests on their toes and family members light-hearted, including an interesting curio here and there will really enhance the atmosphere. You don’t have to go all out with taxidermy if you don’t want to, but having unique pieces in your home – like famous shoes – might be just the thing, and as you can see, Goodwill is the place to find uncommon pieces!