Sociology: Boy and Community Service Essay

Submitted By lbredvad
Words: 1099
Pages: 5

For my community service activity, I choose to complete my hours at a Goodwill location. I choose Goodwill for a couple of reasons. Goodwill takes donations of all sorts, clothes, furniture, appliances, and other household items and provides them to the public at a significantly discounted rate. For many years I was a single parent, and I fully understand the benefits of thrift store shopping. Unfortunately I was on a fixed income and at times could not provide my children with new clothing, or new shoes for their upcoming school year. Goodwill was a blessing, as I was able to get my girls school clothes for the year at a cost that at the time I was able to afford. During my community service I worked on several days doing the minimum required two hours a day. I watched the customers coming into the store and took note of their ethnicity, and appearance. For the most part I would say that eighty five percent of the customers were women, and I would say that ninety percent of the customers were minorities. I saw many women there shopping for their children as I have done many times before. “Traditional norms have giving women primary responsibility for child rearing and maintaining the household. As a result, many of the world’s women are overworked and underpaid.” (Macionis 253) So shopping at Goodwill provides them with the necessities the may need at a desirable cost for their family situation. Another group of individuals that I noticed at the Goodwill were the regulars. The regulars are a specific group of shoppers that are at the store when it opens and are there daily for hours at a time. Most of the regulars were there when I got there and were still there when I was leaving after two hours. What this group does is waits for the new items to be brought out of the warehouse. They are very competitive amongst themselves and are very aggressive in searching for wanted items. I asked these regulars why they were there all the time and I was surprised at their response. This particular group of individuals would buy items from the Goodwill at an already discounted price, and then take these items to the flea market where they would turn around and sell these same items for a profit. “Making money is considered the natural way of economic life.” (Macionis 334) And this was their way of making money, flipping the items they bought at Goodwill and hiking up the price at a flea market for a profit. For many regulars this was their primary source of income and it was a family affair. Other family members would frequent other Goodwill locations to obtain items as well. The majority of the regulars were Hispanic and it was quite obvious that English was their second language. I can only assume, but I believe that the families involved in this type of economic venture were probably immigrants from Mexico who were here illegally and were unable to obtain legitimate employment. Not to say that this type of work is illegitimate but no paperwork is required such as a social security numbers or driver’s license number to obtain a booth at a flea market. One individual that stood out to me the most, during my community service was a young boy. I did not have the nerve to approach him but I did notice him. If I had to guess I would have to say that this boy seemed to me to get a transsexual. “Transsexuals are people who feel they are one sex even though biologically they are another.” (Macionis 146) He must have been between the ages of fifteen and eighteen. He was a good looking young man; his hair was long and appeared to be very healthy and clean. I must say I was a little jealous of his beautiful hair. And he was shopping in the women’s section. His mannerisms were very feminine and even his bone structure seemed very soft and feminine. He reminded me of a character in the film Paris is Burning. The clothing he was wearing was somewhat old and worn but he was shopping for a dress top. I noticed the one that