Paper Jam Jar (paperjamjar) wrote in little_details,
Paper Jam Jar
paperjamjar
little_details

US Charity Shopping

Hi guys. A character in my story, set in LA circa 2000, needs to buy a pair of shoes really cheaply. I want to send her to a charity shop, but having never visited the States myself I want to check that I have the right idea about how they work in the US.

Here in the UK, big charities (like Oxfam) raise money through chains of shops selling second-hand, donated goods at low prices. The staff are usually volunteers, and the merchandise can be anything from unbelievable bargains to near-garbage. Buying from charity shops is very worthy but not very cool, and the really stylish probably wouldn't admit if their prized outfit came from Oxfam.

I'm looking for the name of an Oxfam equivalent in the US: would Goodwill work? Or do you have local charity shops? Is shopping there the same deal - cheap, cheerful, and maybe slightly embarrassing? More importantly for my story (and harder to Google for), how might my character - superficially, a total Clueless stereotype who finds herself suddenly and chronically broke - feel about shopping there? I'm imagining it'd be quite a stigma for her.

Many thanks for any help you can give.
ETA: Thanks guys - that was most useful!
Tags: ~clothing
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