A Free Thrift Shop? That’s How Enough Stuff in Illinois Operates
When I came across a Tiktok video from a thrift store claiming they give their stock away for free, I was immediately skeptical. But, as it turns out, it's true.
You can't blame me for my skepticism, right? After all, growing up I was always taught that free things often come with a catch. I'm happy to be incorrect in this instance.
The shop, Enough Stuff, is a non-profit based in Peoria, IL. They take donated items and give them away to those who visit their shop either for free or for as much as the person can pay.
How Do They Make Money?
Despite their stock being made up of donated items, they still have a physical location that comes with its own set of bills for things like electricity and so on. So, how do they pay those bills if they're giving things away basically for free?
Yes, they ask that those who are shopping in their location donate what they can. But, if someone has nothing to give, they rely on low-cost memberships to help them fund their cause.
There are 4 monthly membership tiers ranging from $5 to $50. Per Enough Stuff's website,
The money collected keeps the doors open, the bills paid, and the shelves stocked with essentials.
Those essentials include hygiene products, food pantry items, and home goods. As well, those donating $10 or more monthly will receive a locally made art, DIY project, or craft for free each month.
However, memberships are NOT required to shop at their store.
For those who can't donate monetarily but want to help, you can find a list of accepted items here.
Why This Is Important
This is a personal observation. But, I've found that a lot of people in a place of privilege will look at those who are either struggling or homeless and say, "Well, what's stopping them from getting a job, etc.?"
One factor of that is access to new/clean clothing. But, how can someone buy new clothes if they're struggling to pay their bills or survive? And, in turn, how can someone get a better-paying job if they can't afford to be "presentable" as most hiring managers require?
It's a cycle. A cycle that can be helped by non-profits, like Enough Stuff, doing what they can to help their community.
You can learn more about Enough Stuff's mission on their website or follow them on Facebook.