Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Thrift Store Saints: Meeting Jesus 25 Cents at a Time Paperback – October 1, 2010
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
--Review for Religious
--Ray Dupont, National Saint Vincent de Paul Stores Committee Chairperson
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Through meeting the "saints" who frequented her shop, Knuth undergoes a profound transformation in her own spiritual life. She begins to see the poor not as burdens but as "opportunities to meet Jesus." Thrift Store Saints is the perfect type of social-justice book: it uses personal stories and it doesn't leave you feeling guilty about what you're not doing. Instead, it inspires you--through example, not guilt--to want to do more. Thrift Store Saints teaches you, in the words of Mother Teresa, how to find Christ in his "most distressing disguise."
The refreshing thing about Ms. Knuth's point of view is that she doesn't consider herself to be serving the poor, or teaching the poor, or in any way condescending to a class of people not her own. She has wholeheartedly assumed the Society's position that the people she helps are her teachers, and she their student. That simple, yet profound, shift in thinking informs Ms. Knuth's every interaction. It produces a curiosity and humility that makes her storytelling so very touching.
Yet, there was a learning curve for Ms. Knuth. In her first encounter at the shop -- as a customer -- she brings an attitude with her. When she takes her item to the counter and whips out a credit card, the white-haired elderly woman behind the counter tells her they don't take credit cards. Ms. Knuth bristles. "Look," I tell her. "This is the third time I've driven downtown. Your hours are lousy... Now you're telling me you won't take credit cards? This is ridiculous." The woman gently tells her that most of their customers don't have credit cards. And so begins Ms. Knuth's education.
This is a lovely book filled with valuable spiritual lessons that can only be learned by a person like Ms. Knuth, who is willing to leave the comfort of a completely known and utterly safe life. It'll make you want to leave your recliner and sign up to volunteer!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jane has so beautifully described the people who come to us for help. I wish all Vincentian's would read this book and realize how much they are needed.Published 15 days ago by Jeanne
Heart warming book about the people who come to the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. Both the volunteers and those seeking help benefit from their contact.Published 5 months ago by jonconn
Very interesting read about how getting involved in helping others often returns to the giver more than they anticipated.Published 11 months ago by ed
As a fellow SVdP volunteer, this book is right on. I have encountered some of the clients and experiences that Jane talks about. Read morePublished 12 months ago by ChicagoGirl
Loved it!! This book is a must read for volunteers working with the poor and disadvantagedPublished 13 months ago by Brenda
Loved the writing style of this author. Easy reading and inspiring stories of working with the poor gave me many new insights. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Sandy Denney