skip to Main Content
Photo by Burst:

My Experience Volunteering at a Thrift Store: A Personal Account

This article was originally written in 2016 as a student paper for the Introduction to Psychology PSY 111 course at Minot State University.


This paper describes my experience volunteering at a thrift store. I discuss the benefits of volunteering, the different types of people I encountered, and the stereotypes I had about thrift stores that were challenged by my experience. I conclude by arguing that volunteering is a valuable experience that can help people learn about their community and themselves.


Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and learn new things. It can also be a lot of fun. I recently had the opportunity to volunteer at a thrift store, and I had a great experience.

The Thrift Store:

The thrift store I volunteered at was the Salvation Army thrift store in Minot, North Dakota. It is a large store with a wide variety of items, including clothes, furniture, electronics, and books. I spent my day helping customers find what they were looking for, organizing the store, and cleaning up.

The Customers:

I was surprised by the diversity of people who shopped at the thrift store. There were people of all ages, from all walks of life. Some people were looking for specific items, while others were just browsing. I met people who were buying clothes for their kids, people who were looking for furniture for their new home, and people who were just looking for a good deal.

My Stereotypes:

I had always heard about interesting findings in thrift stores. From an antique toy that was bought for $5 and sold on eBay for $500 to an old painting that was bought for $30 and sold at an auction for $10,000. Or just buying brand new items at 10% of the actual cost. I keep hearing those interesting stories from friends, social media, and major news outlets. But I have always had this schema about thrift stores that they are only for used clothes. Weiten (2013) describes schema as a collection of organized thoughts about a specific aspect of the world based on previous experience. No matter how much I hear about the fun stuff that can be found at thrift stores, I cannot get past my schema on thrift stores, that they are only for used clothes. I keep telling myself it is unlikely that I will find anything interesting unless I go to a big store in a large city that is known for antiques.

My Experience:

My volunteering experience at the Salvation Army thrift store changed my misconception about thrift store customers. I saw many different types of people, who were looking for different items. I also found many interesting items in the store. The stories that I hear about interesting findings in thrift store match my experience. I found antique magazines and books in almost new conditions. I have also found brand new items that I found interesting, and I ended up buying many things from the store during my volunteering day.


Volunteering at a thrift store was a great experience. I learned a lot about the store, the people who shop there, and myself. I also challenged my stereotypes about thrift stores and their customers. I would encourage anyone to consider volunteering at a thrift store or other community organization. It’s a great way to give back to your community and learn new things.


  • Weiten, W. (2013). Psychology: Themes and Variations (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
  • Photo by Burst

I am a private investigator based in Mexico with over 5 years of experience. I am multilingual and certified in a variety of investigative disciplines, including asset tracing, fraud detection, and surveillance. I specialize in money laundering, corruption, and fraud, and I have a proven track record of success in recovering stolen assets and bringing criminals to justice.

In addition to my investigative work, I also blog about topics of crime, literature, travel, and sport. I am passionate about using my skills and experience to help others, and I am always looking for new ways to make a difference in the world.

I am available for any investigative project in Mexico or Latin America. Please contact me through here or on social media to learn more about my services.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Question, Comment, Suggestion?

Fahad Hizam alHarbi, PI