Acushnet’s Gifts to Give Is Where You Can Feel Good About Donating and Thrifting
ACUSHNET (WBSM) — There’s nothing like getting new clothes, except for being able to donate your old ones to someone who can use them, which is why a place like Gifts to Give in Acushnet is such an amazing thing for the SouthCoast.
Thanks to the Southcoast Health medical weight loss program and a prescription to Mounjaro – combined with a low-carb, high-protein diet and moderate exercise – I’ve dropped nearly 60 pounds since July.
That means none of my previous clothes fit, and since I’m (hopefully) not done losing weight, I’m not exactly ready to spend a ton of money on a new wardrobe, either.
After trying to continue to wear my 4X shirts and size 48 jeans, and hearing from everyone how my clothes were way too big, I decided to start acquiring some new –or at least, new to me – clothes that fit better.
I usually shop at JCPenney, so I hit up any clearance sales happening there. I also checked out Marshall’s and TJMaxx (two stores I hadn’t been able to shop in for years). I made a trip to Savers once a week to see if there was anything in my new size.
When asking the radio audience about places to check for good deals on clothes, someone suggested I visit the nonprofit Gifts to Give in Acushnet. I filed it away mentally, but since their thrift shop is only open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., I was usually too busy to get over there.
Later, I was having a conversation in the WBSM studio with Chris McCarthy, Marcus Ferro and New Bedford City Councilor Naomi Carney about my weight loss, and I mentioned how I wanted to donate all of my now-too-big clothes to some of the migrants coming in from Haiti and other places to local hotels, but that I didn’t think there was a need for 4X clothing. Councilor Carney then suggested donating them to Gifts to Give.
I loaded up a bag with the first round of clothes, with the shirts and pants I wore the most. Not only did this help clear out space in the drawers and in the closet, but I also figured this would serve as motivation to keep losing weight, because I wouldn’t have my old clothes to fall back on if I gained it all back.
The following Saturday, I returned to Gifts to Give to visit the thrift store. I made my way up the two flights of stairs and walked in not knowing what to expect. About an hour or so later, I walked out with a ton of nearly-new (and in some cases, new with tags) clothing for $70. Four pairs of pants, nine shirts and a package of socks, all in my new sizes: 2X shirts and size 40 pants.
Gifts to Give does things differently from most other thrift stores. For example, most of the used clothing is priced at $4, and about half of it is new with tags still on them. Even those items are very affordable.
“Profit is not our primary objective,” the Gifts to Give website states. “Building community is.”
What’s better is that I saved so much buying from the thrift store that I won’t feel bad at all about donating these clothes back once I lose even more weight. I’m about 30 pounds from my goal weight and 50 pounds away from probably the most I’d want to lose, so there may be a few more rounds of donating and thrifting to go before I’m done.
The best part, though, is the money I spent in the thrift store goes back to helping Gifts to Give with its overall mission. That’s a feeling that’s even better than getting new clothes after going down a few sizes.
Oh, and I plan on swinging by more often, so now that I've shared this with you, please save some good deals for me.
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Gallery Credit: Madison Troyer