This post was originally published on Hello Jackson on July 15, 2013.
What’s better than finding an amazing deal on the perfect pair of jeans? Knowing that the money is going to a wonderful cause. That’s what you get at the RIFA Thrift Store! RIFA has had a presence in Jackson since 1976, when a group of local churches and community leaders decided to do something about the growing poverty levels in the city. The Thrift Store is one of the many ways that RIFA helps the people of Jackson, and it is open to the general public. The items in the shop are all donated, and net profits from sales fund RIFA’s other ministries. This includes the soup kitchen, food bank, and snack backpack program, among others.
RIFA is an acronym for Regional Inter-Faith Association, and it is a Christian non-profit organization. RIFA feeds, clothes, and trains people in need by combining life-changing resources from area churches, businesses, and individuals to show Christ’s love in action every day of the year. The vision at RIFA is to “meet needs in the Jackson community and empower individuals to prepare for the future,” and its mission is to “reach out with the love of Christ to help people in need and provide resources for a better future.”
At least half of the store is full of clothing, much of it like new! I found several ties that my husband would love and even a few dresses that would be perfect for a special occasion. It’s really amazing how much you can find, and the best part is that you will find something different with each shopping trip! If you’re like me and enjoy wearing unique clothes that you can’t find in regular stores, you will absolutely love thrift shopping. RIFA Thrift Store is a great place for families with a tight budget to get their kids ready for the new school year. When I visited there was a whole rack of children’s uniform clothing, which can get quite expensive when it is brand new. You can also find purses, scarves, shoes, and even some beautiful jewelry at the counter.
In addition to being able to update your wardrobe, you can also find some unique decor for your home! When I was shopping for plates to use at my wedding reception last fall, I found several in great condition at the RIFA Thrift Store. They also have some gorgeous wall art and picture frames for very reasonable prices and several pieces of furniture in wonderful condition. Furniture can get really expensive, so buying it from a thrift store is smart if you’re on a budget. You can tell if it’s been taken care of, and RIFA definitely makes sure it is selling quality pieces.
The Thrift Store is one of several areas where RIFA made huge improvements back in the fall of 2012 when they moved from their location on Highland to the new location on Airways. RIFA is now located in the old Nando Jones building, and it is a major step up in both space and building quality. I had the privilege of helping sort items for the food bank back in November, and I was happy to see that there is more space for volunteers to work in. When I walked in and saw the thrift store, I couldn’t believe how gorgeous and clean it was! If you ever went into the old location, you know it was a little cramped. I’m thrilled that the team at RIFA is now working with such a great space.
Now that the Thrift Store is open on Saturday (a recent change), you can stop by when you visit the Farmers’ Market down the road! On the first Saturday of each month clothing is half off, and on the third Saturday of each month there is a $10 bag sale. Be sure to stop in this coming weekend and take advantage of that! The Thrift Store also offers a 10% military and student discount (with ID) every day and various other weekday discounts.
RIFA is always in need of donations of items in good condition. Items always needed include men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing; large and small appliances; furniture; mattresses and box springs; linens; and household items. Donations can be brought to the loading dock between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. All donations are tax-deductible. Pick-up service for large items is available on Thursdays.
As I mentioned above, RIFA Thrift Store’s net profits go to fund other RIFA ministries in Jackson. Not only are you shopping local and getting great deals, but you are also helping people in need in our community. I call that smart shopping!
Kristi Woody is a photographer and storyteller for our Hello Jackson features about locally owned retail stores and restaurants. She also works as the university photographer for Union University and owns her own wedding photography business, Woody & Pearl Photography. In her free time, Kristi enjoys spending time with her husband and rambunctious beagle, Rhett and Chipper respectively. If you can't find Kristi in Jackson, you'll find her in her second favorite place: Disney World!
tags Jackson TN, Tennessee, Hello Jackson, Kristi Woody, RIFA, Regional Inter-Faith Association, nonprofit, non-profit, thrift store, clothing, furniture, church, Christianity, Christian, poverty, homeless, donate, soup kitchen, food bank, discount, shoes, jewelry, accessories, Airways Boulevard, Nando Jones, volunteer, service, Farmers' Market, West Tennessee Farmers' Market, appliances, linens, decor, local, local business, local shop