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Our guest post today is from an avid supporter and shopper at our upscale resale stores, Wellspring Treasures. Her name is Emily Laney, and she is going to share a bit about the process of our stores.

A few years ago I met a ten-year-old boy in India. The young boy was a “runner” from a local factory. He was not attending school; he was not paid a living wage, if he even received a wage at all. My interaction with him shook me to my core, and began to shape the way I looked at my purchases. I soon discovered that of the estimated 27 million slaves in our world, at least 12.3 million of those are in forced labor (www.polarisproject.org). I did not want to purchase items that were made by children or slaves. I wanted to make sure my money reflected my values. It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve not done an exceptionally good job at it, but I have spent the past several years changing the way I shop.

I’ve found that shopping at resale stores is a simple, affordable way I can purchase new (to me) products without contributing to companies who are using slave labor. I can hit up thrift stores and consignment stores to find gently used products. It is one practical way to reduce my contribution to slavery, and to be a little more “green” in my overall lifestyle. It also helps with my newlywed-recent-college-graduate budget.

Wellspring Living has implemented a fantastic way to shop secondhand. I was thrilled to learn about the Wellspring Treasures stores. When you shop at one of these stores, you are able to find reasonably priced, upscale resale store clothing and home goods. The stores are attractive, well-organized and are full of beautiful products. Some of the products for sale are even repurposed by some of the women in the Wellspring Living programs. But my favorite part of the Wellspring Treasures store is that my money is going to provide services to survivors of sex trafficking and abuse. My purchases and my donations are directly contributing to fighting modern-day slavery – Wellspring Living uses revenue from the stores to help fund their programs.

There are four store locations in the Metro Atlanta area. You can shop or donate in Kennesaw, Duluth, Peachtree City, and Virginia Highland. The stores rely on volunteers, so it’s also an excellent volunteer opportunity to contribute to the work of Wellspring Living with your time. You can go to the organization website to get information about the operation hours, donation times, and volunteer opportunities, and each store has it’s own Facebook page.

I first shopped at the location in Kennesaw about a week after it opened. It felt wonderful to wear something on my wedding day that helped someone in my city. About a month later, I donated a couple of pieces of furniture to the store. I also purchased a simple cabinet for our new apartment. I was able to do a bit of repurposing and added some cute knobs and pulls to personalize the cabinet to fit our apartment, and I think it looks great in our dining room.

With every purchase and every donation to a Wellspring Treasures store, you are directly giving to an organization that rescues and restores the lives of women and girls in our city. You are fighting sex trafficking with your shopping, which seems impossible. But it’s not, and it doesn’t get better than that!