Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
Thrift Store Saints
Thrift Store Saints: Meeting Jesus 25 cents at a Time is a thoughtful true-stories book about Kalamazoo people who seek assistance from the small St. Vincent de Paul Society thrift store operated by local volunteers, some of whom are in their eighties and nineties. Over thirteen years ago Jane Knuth reluctantly began volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul. She writes: “Our resources extend from providing clothing, household items, and blankets to financial help with back rent and utility bills, but it is never enough. No matter how much we distribute to needy people, their crises are never fully subdued. The moment always comes when we have to say, “You may have these or those things, but not that.” The great strain of helping the poor is that, at some point, we always are forced to say “no more.” We can never give all they obviously lack.” p67
One particularly touching story is about a caring nurse who telephones the thrift store to relay a message about a patient of hers who just got out of the hospital and she needs a bed. The nurse has a bed to donate, but the bed must be picked up within hours. Jane’s dear husband and his friend pick up the bed and deliver it to the woman’s upstairs apartment to her surprise and amazement.
I highly recommend this book about stories of local people and their needs and the helpful St. Vincent de Paul Society thrift store.
Thrift store saints: meeting Jesus 25 cents at a time