Best of CU: Best Thrift Store

By Julia Youman, Staff Writer

Salt & Light Ministries has once again defended its title as the best thrift store in the Champaign-Urbana area. With two locations, the nonprofit organization works to end poverty on a local and national level. It is completely volunteer-run and hosts several volunteer orientations a week to encourage new people to get involved. Its mission has remained the same throughout the years: to build collaborative relationships between community members and those in need. The concept for the store started from a shared passion for Christian ministries. 

For anyone looking to help out, Salt & Light offers many volunteer positions from sorting and stocking goods to working at the store. After opening its doors in January 2004, it began an emergency food pantry and clothing place and quickly grew. Since then, they’ve donated countless items to families in need and offered critical services like free financial education classes during times of financial hardship for many. At one point, Salt & Light became the county’s largest emergency food pantry, serving hundreds of households a week until changing their model in 2014. In the last few years, they’ve focused on raising money and donating goods through their thrift stores. Donations ranging from clothing items to household goods to vehicles can be dropped off Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also offer free estate sale and furniture pickups for donations of six or more goods which can be arranged through their online website.  

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