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PCC’s central location provides for bountiful opportunities for students to shop at various local thrift store locations where they can save money and give back.

ACTS thrift store and Out of the Closet both provide a large selection of new or gently used clothes for costumers to peruse, all while donating portions of their proceeds to help the local community and those in need.

ACTS Thrift Store is just north of Colorado Boulevard on Hill Avenue and benefits at-risk youth and families, while Out of the Closet is about a block East of the campus, with proceeds benefiting the AIDS Healthcare foundation.

The city is also home to American Vintage, Miss Plum’s Thrift Shoppe, Goodwill and of course the PCC Flea Market. Each location provides a large and very different selection of clothing, home décor and accessories and costumers flock to these stores to find unique pieces of clothes or anything vintage.

The origins of ACTS Thrift Store began in 2008 when an idea surfaced that there was a need for an independent thrift store with profits supporting at-risk children and their families. Spearheaded by the Lake Avenue Community Foundations, now known as Star of Tomorrow, ACTS Thrift Store opened its doors in July 2010 and has since partnered with various local non-profits that needed a location to donate items that they have no place to store. These items then receive credit from ACTS in which the local non-profits can use to purchase what is actually needed by the people they serve and when they need it.

“The local focus of ACTS [is], making a difference in the lives of children and their families in Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley,” the website reads.

Gale Woods has been working with ACTS for four years and finds her job important because she enjoys helping Pasadena and the local community. She always notices students coming in and out of the store, hoping to find unique purchases and especially vintage purses.

“I think [thrift stores] are a cheap, economical way for students to save some money,” Woods said. “They also are able to support their community and might not even know it.”

Woods mentioned that ACTS has a different sale everyday of the week and all-day Wednesday is “Student, Teachers and Pastors” day where they receive 20 percent off their purchase.

Courtney Payan an environmental design student and thrift store aficionado loves shopping at thrift stores for the “thrill of the hunt.”

“My favorite thrift store is probably Crossroads in Old Town [Pasadena],” Payan said. “They have items you can’t find in particular stores and you can get vintage items at a more affordable price.”

Payan recalled a leopard coat from the 1960’s she found and described it as a “prize possession.” Although she believes it can be trendy to shop at thrift stores, her motivation to shop at thrift stores is the variety and quality of items you can find.

Out of the Closet is another thrift store that donates a portion of their proceeds to benefiting the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

“It’s really cool to help people out,” said Adrian Benitez, a prospective PCC student. “It makes me feel good that I’m part of a store that gives back.”

Out of the Closet is just a block away from PCC and Benitez said he always sees students come in looking for “neat” things that they probably wouldn’t find elsewhere, especially clothing. Some people tend to think of thrift stores as out of date, and clothing from older generations. But Benitez said that’s not always true and credits Macklemore’s song “Thrift Shop” for drawing more teenagers into the scene.

“We have a lot of popular brands,” Benitez said. “It’s not just old clothes. You may have to look around a bit, but if you have time it’s worth it to check it out. You can find really cool things”

Out of the Closet also has weekly color-coded sales that provide an even bigger opportunity for savings.

People can tend to shy away from thrift stores because they think the clothes are old and dirty, but both Woods and Benitez agreed that potential customers should not be intimidated because the merchandise is always changing. And while thrift shopping is somewhat of a trend now, with donations coming daily, you never know what you may find.

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