This past week, I had an amazing opportunity to tour the brand new Deseret Industries in Nampa. I am an avid thrift shopper, and like to think of myself as a bit of a connoisseur of second-hand shopping. I have been to hundreds (should I even be admitting that?) of thrift shops, and have never been so wholly impressed with a stores offerings and setup!
Deseret Industries, an incredible thrift store with a passion for creating opportunities for those that society has maybe turned its back on, invited myself and 13 other local bloggers to come to their new location in Nampa to get a behind the scenes look at their operation. They are a non-profit organization that is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with locations in the Western United States, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California. Want to see if there's one near you? Find out here!
I'm going to be totally honest and tell you that I had no idea what to expect when I walked through the doors and into the meet and greet. Growing up on the East coast, I had never heard of Deseret Industries, and somehow I had missed it in my thrift store searches since moving to Boise.
When they invited me to come tour, I expected to walk around the facility, talk to some people, and go on with my day, but that's not what happened. I sat down and was able to listen to several members of the staff talk about Deseret Industries' mission statement and watch a few videos to get to know their mission and it affected me. Listening to the stories of people who weren't given a chance anywhere else, who came to Deseret Industries and had their lives changed gave me the chills and made this mama shed more than just a few tears.Even writing this post, my eyes are tearing up.
Deseret Industries provides the community with so much more than just great deals on clothing - they literally change people's lives by helping them to become more then they are. By shopping at Deseret Industries and donating your unwanted items, you are fueling each and every single program that the DI offers to their local communities and individuals.
One of the biggest things that Deseret Industries provides for the members of its communities is they provide help for people with significant barriers to employment (such as previous incarceration, disabilities, limited education and / or English language skills, and more). Each and every single person is matched up with a mentor to help them on their path, and each person eta their own uniquely individualized plan for progress, which is critical to their success.
This is what got to my heart strings most.
Deseret Industries doesn't just set people up with a 'right now' job, they set them up for a better life. They genuinely care about each and every single individual who becomes a part of their program, and they give them hope. They help to fulfill their basic needs, but more than that, they help to create a sense of pride and self esteem, and help them secure a career (not just a job) so that they can become self sufficient and fulfill their maximum potential.
One thing I found incredible was the fact that Deseret Industries partners with local businesses to place their associates in well-fitting career positions and DI pays the associates salary during that time. How incredible is that?! They believe in these people so much that invest in them and their futures wholeheartedly. (You can find more out about the associates training and education here!)
Deseret Industries also provides grants for both local and non-local school districts, hope centers, catholic charities, health and welfare centers, etc. As a part of these grants, Deseret Industries allows these community partners to hand out store vouchers so that those in need can receive merchandise free of charge. Because of this, families who can't afford winter jackets and boots, weather appropriate clothing, professional attire, bed linens etc, are able to purchase these basic needs.
I could go on and on about their big hearts and their philanthropic missions, but I'll let these personal stories speak for themselves.
So what can we do? Shop! Like you needed an excuse, am I right?
Simply by shopping at your local Deseret Industries, and / or donating your gently used household goods and clothing, you are able to change lives, right there in your community and beyond!
Worried about prices? Don't be - Deseret Industries has a really cool system of "good", "better", "best" and "exceptional" pricing, which keeps everything crazy affordable. Just a quick peek around the store lead me to an entire section of designer denim for under TEN DOLLARS! Literally, jeans I myself have paid more than I care to admit, marked for $8, and they were all in great shape!
Worried your items aren't up to part to be donated? Don't be! Excess donations make their way to the Salt Lake City humanitarian center where they are sorted and sent to 3rd world countries in need. Lost the left shoe to your old Nikes? Don't throw it away! Donate the one shoe you still have! Your singleton that would otherwise sit in a landfill for years (and years and years and years) to come will instead directly benefit a man, woman or child that only has one foot - just from you sending in your one shoe. How amazing is that?!
Deseret Industries' brand new location is located at 1370 Caldwell Boulevard, in Nampa Idaho, and trust me, it's well worth the 30 minute drive from Boise! I have legitimately never seen such a well organized and set up thrift store. In fact, Deseret Industries' cleanliness and orderliness rivals many top department stores! Everything is brightly lit and well marked, so you know exactly where to find children's sandals, women's activewear, men's suiting, or anything else you may be looking for!
While I'm definitely a fan of the clothes shopping, their back section is amazing and should probably be your first stop when you enter through the doors! There are bicycles, camping gear, games, outdoor furnishings, and so much more - and the prices are so low I have a hard time saying no! In fact, during our tour I was practically begging one of the managers to let me take home a perfect condition Radio Flyer. It literally looked brand new and was marked at - wait for it - twenty five dollars. Currently ranging from $120 - $170 at places like Amazon and Target, that beauty is going to be my main goal item during the Grand Opening Celebration! My camera roll is full of wish list items for this coming Thursday's event, and I cannot wait to share with you what I score!
What are you doing this Thursday October 15 - Saturday October 17th?! I hope you join me on Thursday for the Ribbon Cutting at 9:30am, with doors opening at 10 to the public, but the fun will be going on all weekend long!
Are you in the Treasure Valley area and want to see what all the fuss is about and join in on the fun? Check out the event page on Facebook here for all the details!
Want to hear the other blogger's thoughts on their DI experience? Check them out below!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Deseret Industries, regardless, all opinions and viewpoints are my own.