From the Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
For secondhand stores such as Goodwill Industries, ‘Halloween is Christmas’
By NANCY BEAN FOSTER, Sunday News Correspondent
MOST Halloween costumes only get a couple of uses at best, so buying used is not only econom-ical, it’s also green.
It can be charitable, too, with thrift stores such as Goodwill Industries in Hooksett and Savers in Nashua turning buying used into giving back.
“For Goodwill, Halloween is Christmas,” said Kim Rennell, manager of the Goodwill store in Hooksett. (Above: Kim Rennell rummages through a rack at the Goodwill Industries store she manages in Hooksett.)
Kieara Russell, 10, of Allenstown discovers the perfect Halloween costume at the Goodwill in Hooksett.
The month of October is the busiest time of year for the store, as folks start shopping for winter, supplement their back-to-school wardrobes, and — most important — get ready for All Hallows Eve.
Rennell said she looks forward to the holiday every year and starts pulling donated costumes, or clothing that could easily be converted into costumes, to the front of the store. There are ready-made outfits for all ages, from bumblebees and turtles to vampires and zombies.
“People really like to draw on their creativity,” said Michelle Smith, spokeswoman for Goodwill Industries’ Northern New England division. “In this economy, people want great costumes, but they don’t want to spend the money for retail.”
Goodwill has lots of used costumes, but also plenty of options for those who want to rely on their own inspiration for Halloween.
“An old wedding dress and some gloves and a hat can become quite a dramatic costume,” said Rennell.
“People get really creative.”
And Goodwill brings in some new items, as well, to help ensure that people can do one-stop shopping at the store. Everything from fake blood and plastic teeth to trick-or-treat bags and home decor line the shelves and can all be had for little money.
At Savers in Nashua, the same kind of concept applies.
Used clothing and costumes donated to the Epilepsy Foundation are placed side by side with new costumes and accessories, said store manager Ed Paige.
“You can get a lot of costume for under $10 here,” said Paige.
A donated pair of jeans and a white T-shirt paired with a new rubber wound and some fake blood could scare the dickens out of anyone — without breaking the bank.
“And what makes it even better is that the more people buy here, the more money we can give to the Epilepsy Foundation,” said Paige.
Everyone at Savers gets into the spirit of the holiday, Paige said.
“Our employees are encouraged to dress up throughout the month of October,” he said as an employee passed by dressed as a cowboy.
At Goodwill, the money goes to helping people who are unemployed get back to work and regain their independence, said Smith. The stores also work with local social service agencies to provide clothing vouchers so that those in need can acquire coats and shoes and other necessities.
Smith said Goodwill of Northern New England has really embraced Halloween by creating a blog (accessible through its website, goodwillnne. org) dedicated to costume ideas discovered at its stores.
And buying used, Smith noted, is going green.
“In 2010, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England diverted more than 35 million pounds of used goods from landfills,” she said.
people can do one-stop shopping at the store. Everything from fake blood and plastic teeth to trick-or-treat bags
Looking for something that appears to be straight out of a 1970s episode of “The Brady Bunch”? Marianne Webber, an employee at the Goodwill store in Hooksett, has just the outfit for you.