Not yet a subscriber? Why not subscribe now - it's Free and it's Easy. Click here if already a subscriber.

Become a Christian Life in London subscriber and stay up to date with the latest Christian news, contests, events and information in London.
* Required Fields
This is a FREE subscription,
and you can unsubscribe at anytime.
Word Verification

Become a Christian Life in London subscriber and help spread the word, you will be entered in our monthly draws for great prizes, AND the more friends** you recommend, you will receive one additional entry per each one of those subscriptions.

Suggest Friends   

* Required Fields
This is a FREE subscription,
and you can unsubscribe at anytime.
** Friends
Your friends will not be subscribed automatically,
they will receive an email asking if they would like to subscribe.

Thrifting through Christmas Shopping
Remembering Sharon Rose Slauenwhite
Calling All Girls (6 through12) – Come to Yakira!
Courage For Freedom Welcomes Summer Breeze
And New Guests to Courage House!
Today's Revelation
Really, a Bear?
Three Essentials for Developing & Fulfilling a Vision
Dispelling the Dark
Reel Review - Fly Me to the Moon (MOVIE REVIEW)
The Organist (HUMOUR)
“Take Me For A Spin”
The Top 20 Christian Music Albums for Summer 2024
BookMark - Living in the Daze of Deception: How to Discern Truth from Culture's Lies (BOOK REVIEW)
Adjusting to New Realities
Make Him Known

An article by Marilynn Vanderstaay

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. 1Peter 4:10 NIV.

For the purpose of this article, I have redefined thrifter as a shopper who stewards every dollar she spends, both personally and in giving, to get the most value for her money while making a difference in the Kingdom of God by supporting whenever possible thrift stores that are operated by Christian ministries.

In years past shopping thrift shops was just not something the middleclass did, it was considered gauche. And while we would shop the big sales at name brand stores that had no connection to giving for designer clothes and furniture, sorting through piles of gently used clothing to find perhaps a name brand shirt was just not done.

But shoppers have grown up and realize that shopping conglomerate stores in which the quality is just not the same as it was even 20 years ago, that clothing bought shopping online doesn’t always fit properly and that returns are more of a hassle than it is worth, and that prices do not justify the merchandise… they have literally outpriced themselves. Shoppers have started looking for alternatives like clothing exchanges and, yes, thrifting for both the quality and the prices.

In the same way, thrift shops have revamped themselves to meet this new demographic of shopper by offering a more varied selection of merchandise assembled in a more retail shopper friendly lay out and have developed a loyal clientele of frequent middle-class shoppers. So much so, some thrift stores have developed their own incentive points plans.

Others look and feel like boutiques. And so much so sophisticated shoppers brag about the bargains they have found.

But not all thrift shops are created equal. Before investing your money and donating your clothing and more, google to find out who really benefits from the proceeds. Or is it just profit? A major international thrift brand is in fact owned by an American conglomerate that is neither a charity nor a not-for-profit that makes its money first from donations of what it sells, and then the income from the actual sales, while slowly edging its prices up so it is no longer competitive with thrift but staying just under retail.

In response to that, and to give you some thrifty Christmas and personal shopping tips, here are some researched local thrift shops that offer a variety of quality items in a range of prices. Like me, you will enjoy sorting through the clothes, furniture, housewares and more while learning about the ministries your dollars are supporting with your purchases and meeting some very nice managers, employees, and volunteers. While the quality and choices of merchandise do not vary much, where thrifters shop may be based on the ministry that operates it.

The Mission Store

The Mission Store, 797 York Street at the corner of Rectory Street, across from the fairgrounds is operated by Mission Services of London and offers a variety of departments from clothing to housewares to furniture and more. Its purpose is basically to make the prices affordable for everybody. And everybody is invited to shop.

Each week a myriad of thousands of items is offered at half-price through its rotating colour tag sales. Every week it’s a different colour tag with the items scattered among the 12 departments in the store, The emphasis in this store is low prices.

Thrifters can now share the savings with friends and family by purchasing a Mission Store gift card that can be activated with any amount starting at $5 and are good on any purchases at the store.

Mission Services is so committed to ensuring our customers pay the lowest thrift prices that they have designed their Blue Card, one of the most rewarding loyalty programs in the thrift market. Your Mission Store Blue Card will be stamped up to three times on any purchase of $10 or more, based on how much you spend. With just 5 stamps you will save $10 off your next purchase.

The Mission Store is a social enterprise thrift store that supports Mission Services of London. Social enterprises are revenue-generating businesses with a twist. Whether operated by a non-profit organization such as Mission Services or by a for-profit company, a social enterprise has two goals: to achieve social, cultural, community economic and/or environmental outcomes; and, to earn revenue.

In its 10,000 sq. foot store Mission Services offers an unprecedented selection of clothing, housewares, books, electronics, accessories, toys, jewelry and much more at very low thrifty prices, always tax-free.

All proceeds of the store support Mission Services programs and services at its five London branches. The Mission Store also has stores on E Bay and Amazon where thrifters can shop from the comfort of their homes and have their items delivered.

The Mission Store also offers two community outreach programs including the The Emergency Voucher Program, and Warm Hands-Warm Hearts outreach program.

Thrifters who shop the Mission Store are confident they are getting the best value and variety for their money while making a major difference in what Mission Services can provide for the London community.

The Mission Store is open daily from 9 a, m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mission Services London is a unique organization with roots that go deep into Christian beliefs. It was founded in 1951 by Alvin and Madeline Roth in as a nine-bedroom house to provide food, shelter, and clothing to men in need. Today its purpose has expanded to actively and practically respond to people experiencing need, affirm human dignity and inspire hope through an organization of five branches dedicated to helping thousands of neighbours each year who struggle with poverty, homelessness, mental illness, and addiction.

For more information about Mission Services go to

For more information about the Mission Store contact Vikki Buragina at 519-438-3056.

The Mission Thrift Store

No to be confused with The Mission Store, the Mission Thrift Store is snuggled into a house-like building at 2020 Hyde Park Road at the corner of Fanshawe Park Road.

The Mission Thrift store offers thrifters a boutique like experience where they can comfortably sort through quality new and gently used clothing, furniture, books, sporting goods, toys, electronics, and other household goods.

The furniture section hosts among other items gently used mattresses lined up like dominoes. Mission Thrift Store has an agreement with a local distributor to sell mattresses that have been returned from a 30-day guarantee plan. Thrifters can thrift them up for themselves or to give for around $100.

Formerly known as Bibles for Missions, the store welcomes thrifters to first to an entrance display of tracts and free New Testaments from the Bible League of Canada which the proceeds from 52 The Mission Thrift Stores support.

Through its joint ministry with Bible League Canada, Mission Thrift Store place the Living Word of God into Bible-based literacy and leadership training programs into the lives of men, women and children in over 40 countries, including Canada.

The Mission Thrift §tore is staffed by volunteers who are welcoming and happy to direct you to what you are looking for. It picks up furniture at no charge In London and area.

Store Hours are Monday through Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Thursday to Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5p.m. Closed Sunday.

Donation hours are closed Sunday and Monday. Open Tuesday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information phone 519-473-8025

The Society of St Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores

The Society St. Vincent de Paul’s two thrift store locations, 585 York Street and 1005 Elias Street offer affordable clothing, furniture, household items, toys, books, and more to the entire London community. Thrifters who shop find both classic and unique items at incredible bargains, all while supporting those in the London community who are in need of assistance through its unique win win voucher program.

Singles and families in need can receive vouchers for almost everything in the store by registering at the Roman Catholic parish in their neighbourhood.

Two volunteers from the area will visit the applicant to review their needs and provide them with a voucher. The applicant makes an appointment to visit the 585 York St Store at 519-438-7071, where the stores’ wonderful volunteers… they really are wonderful… will help fill those needs. In order to fill those voucher needs, SSVdP London relies solely on donations from the London community. Donations of gently used clothing, furniture, small appliances, household items, and toys are always greatly appreciated. The good news is that right now the London has been so generous with its donations both stores and the warehouse are overflowing with everything but winter clothing.

Until January, the stores will be accepting donations of only winder coats, mitten, scarves, hats, etc., boots and other winter gear. And of course, financial donations to sustain the stores are also appreciated.

So, if you are a SSVdP thrifter, focus on shopping to make more vouchers happen, and just save your donatables until the new year.

SSVdP York Street Thrift Store 585 York Street 519- 438-7071

SSVdP Elias Street Thrift Store 1005 Elias Street 519-433-9210

Teen Challenge Thrift Store

In 2017 Teen Challenge Canada, part of a worldwide ministry that actively helps young men and women overcome addictions, launched its first thrift store in Canada, a 1,000 square foot store on 1200 Commissioners Road East in the Pond Mills Plaza (beside Food Basics and Dollarama). Since then, and despite the Covid 19 pandemic, it has become a viable source for thrifters looking for good prices on quality clothing, housewares, furniture and more while supporting the Teen Challenge Ontario Men’s Centre located in Lambeth, ON (just outside of London.)

Proceeds from the Teen Challenge Thrift Store not only helps fund the Teen Challenge program, but some of the 65 men who are recovering from addictions at the Centre, during their year-long program, will do work placements at the store and as these men sort, fix, shelve and sell used donated items, they will learn new or improve existing job skills, gaining experience as they promote the business.

Teen Challenge Canada operates a 12-month, faith-based, in-residence drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for men and women 18 years and older at 9 centres located across 5 provinces. Teen Challenge Canada offers help and hope to those struggling with alcoholism and/or addiction to other drugs through their proven treatment program. Individuals, their families and communities begin their restoration at Teen Challenge.

In a time when addictions are on the increase, Teen Challenge continues to make a difference in the lives of men and women from across Canada, to help them to lead full and productive lives. The thrift store is more than just getting good deals at thrifter prices but about serving our community. Donations of clothing, housewares, furniture, and more are accepted only at the Thrift Store's back door. Furniture donations may be scheduled for pickup at the curbside only, call 519-518-5060 for more information.

The store is open Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is closed Sunday & Monday.

About the author; Marilynn Vanderstaay
Marilynn is a deep-rooted Christian whose life as a Believer since she was just three is intertwined with everything she puts her hands to professionally and personally.

A community investment specialist, she is a journalist and columnist who writes for community, local and national publications celebrating life and successes, yet when necessary, exposing the not so nice. Her columns and e-zines are read and enjoyed.

She is a soft skills trainer/inspirational speaker. A fabric artisan whose works hang in a gallery in Old Montreal and are published in a coffee table book.

And she is an impresario who organizes faith, friends, food, and fun events. And yes, she is a five-time life threatening cancer overcomer, healed by Jesus to declare the illustrious acts of the Lord. Psalm 118:17