On Saturday, Dec. 4, International Justice Mission (IJM) hosted their annual pop-up thrift store to end slavery, Threads. For weeks, IJM has had signs posted in every dormitory as well as one in Walton with donation bins underneath for anyone to donate clothing, jewelry, shoes, and more. The members of the club sorted all of the donations and set up in Gough Great Room, ready for customers.
The set-up was wonderful. As you walked into the room, there was a table where the IJM club members were sitting and handling transitions with information about the organization. The prices were written on a whiteboard propped against a chair; except for select pieces that were hand-labeled, everything was under five dollars. There were tables with neatly folded t-shirts and jeans, chairs with larger pieces like jackets and dresses laid out or draped over the back, and a rack with some statement pieces hung up. The cubbies in Gough Great Room held a selection of shoes, mugs, and jewelry. There was even a floor-length mirror propped against one wall, so you could hold pieces up and see if you liked them.
You were even allowed to try pieces on if you wanted. While I was there, one person went into the bathroom with an overflowing pile of things they wanted to try on. I tried on three different pieces, and I was thrilled when all of them fit. There aren’t many places where you can get three nice pieces of clothing for under ten dollars. It was also incredibly easy to pay; they accepted cash, debit or credit card, or Venmo.
Besides the unbeatable quality and price of the items, any shoppers could leave confident that their money was going to a good cause. According to the posters around campus, “all proceeds from every item you buy goes to International Justice Mission—the largest anti-trafficking organization in the world—which means freedom for people still trapped in slavery.” Their mission is to “to protect people in poverty from violence by rescuing victims, bringing criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts” (ijm.org).
IJM partners with local offices in fourteen different countries to “combat slavery, violence against women and children, and police abuse of power against people who are poor” (ijm.org). Their solution involves reducing and restoring victims, bringing criminals to justice, scaling demand for protection and strengthening justice systems to fight these issues.
If you’d like to learn more about the organization, their website is a wealth of information about what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and the people who they’ve impacted already. IJM also accepts donations on their website, so if you weren’t able to attend Threads but still would like to support their mission, you can go onto the website and set up either a one-time donation or a recurring monthly donation through their user-friendly portal. You can also get regular updates on their events and progress through social media; they have active profiles on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and LinkedIn.
Threads represented the work of a community coming together for a good cause. Thank you to everyone who donated, volunteered, shopped and supported IJM through this work.
Sources: Threads poster, ijm.org