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EBella Author Article

e Bella Magazine

January 2011

  By Candace Rotolo   

                                                                                               Author Donna Carty

                                      The Sweet Charity Thriftshop:
                                Finding Humanity in a Shopping Cart

            Charity thrift stores are chock full of great bargains and some pretty interesting characters. At least, that was Donna Carty's experience when she spent six weeks volunteering at a Naples store while recovering from surgery "It was ripe for humor," she says. "It was a catalyst for seeing humanity under one roof."  

            After closing, Carty would act out parodies for her co-workers of the people they encountered during their shift.  There were the fashionistas looking to put together a "signature

look on a beer budget," she says. And the bargaineers, who timed their visits to get the biggest discounts.  Carty's good-natured comedy was a hit with her fellow volunteers, and is the basis

for her self-published book, The Sweet Charity Thriftshop: Finding Humanity in a Shopping Cart.  

            While Carty did take some fictional liberties in her writing, some of the stories she says,

you just can't make up. Like the one about the young mother who left a soiled diaper in a

dressing room shopping cart. Or the man who brought a dead raccoon wrapped in a trash bag

to donate - and he wanted a receipt.  

            But there are touching stories too, about the people she met who had never struggled financially before, but in tough economic times had to do their shopping at a thrift store. "You could reach out and help them, let them know there was no shame and tell them that they'd get back on their feet again."

            Carty admits the experience changed her, especially her opinion of her fellow volunteers.

As a newcomer, she could "see the good these workers were doing, but those good deeds

weren't being noticed by the workers."  Carty's main objective in writing the book is to encourage volunteerism. "I want people to realize that you get more than you give when you volunteer ... the return on investment is a surprising positive."  A portion of proceeds from Carty's book will benefit The Shelter for Women & Children.


Author’s note: Available at www.donnacarty.com, Ooh La La Jewels du Jour, and St. John’s Thrift Shoppe – Naples, FL.

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