Inspiring true stories of a volunteer thrift-store worker’s soul-changing encounters with the poor
Three people are waiting on the sidewalk in the drizzle. I drive past them and around the end of the building. As I park my car next to the fresh graffiti, I chew on my lip and say to myself for the hundredth time, What are you doing here, Jane? You don’t know the first thing about helping poor people!
So begins Thrift Store Saints, a collection of true stories based on Jane Knuth’s experiences at a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in the inner city of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
At the outset of the book, Knuth is a reluctant new volunteer at the store, sharing that her middle-class, suburban, church-going background has not prepared her well for this kind of work. By the end of the book, Knuth has undergone a transformation of sorts, and neither she nor we can ever view the poor in the same way again.
Knuth’s transformation is rooted in the prevailing message of Thrift Store Saints: When we serve the poor, they end up helping us as much as we help them. Throughout the book we are introduced to new “saints,” as Knuth thoughtfully, at times humorously, describes how her encounters with the poorest people led her to the greatest riches of God’s grace.
Thrift Store Saints makes clear that it doesn’t require heroic Mother Teresa-types to make a difference with the poor, and it even more powerfully shows us that working with them is not gloomy, depressing work. Knuth’s moving stories demonstrate the profound joy any of us can experience when we see helping the poor not as social work, but as a spiritual path that leads us to the heart of Jesus.
If you're running a thrift store be sure to read this. Even if you're not running a thrift store, read it.Published 18 days ago by norene p.
It was an easy enjoyable read. How often we miss the teaching moments in life and the angels all around us. This book makes one smile and ponder.Published 2 months ago by LilMe
I bought this out of curiosity, as we have assigned it to our rising eighth graders to read over the summer. It's an easy read, full of surprising insights. Read morePublished 3 months ago by P. Dawson
Jane Knuth has volunteered at a thrift store in Kalamazoo, Michigan, run by the St. Vincent de Paul Society, a Catholic charitable organization, for more than 20 years. Read morePublished 4 months ago by N. B. Kennedy
This book is a delight to read. Though it can be read in one sitting do yourself a favor and take your time. Do one chapter at a time and mull over what you read. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Marlene M. Morlock
Delightful book. Provides plenty to think about. Author writes well. A good book for a group read. I've already recommended it to others.Published 5 months ago by John Brooks
Quick read about learning meaning of charity and self reflection and revelation. Fine for sixth grade and up to readPublished 5 months ago by cornelia l. gallo