There are so many photography contests out there in the world that help to showcase the best of the best. So what about the ones that make us feel a little bit better? Yes, the Kindness Photography contest seems people come together. Here are some of the best photos from 2019’s entries.
Did you know that research has shown how viewing compassionate, kind, and peaceful images can affect our wellbeing and happiness? That’s right; even a few moments a day can have huge effects. Now, photographers from across the planet share their joy in the Kindness Photography contest.
Their Third Year
Envision Kindness is a non-profit organization that aims to spread positivity throughout the media. 2019 marked the third year that they have run their The World Is Kind contest that allows any budding photographers to wow the judges – as long as the snap embodies kindness.
The Kindness Photography contest received more than a whopping 1,800 submissions from all corners of the Earth. To top it off, these pictures were all taken by 750 photographers that live in more than 85 countries. The team then chose their top 20 photos while the public got to vote on theirs.
The founder of Envision Kindness, David Fryburg, knows that the world is filled with negative images and stories. He wanted to create a way to show people that there is still kindness in the world, and so, the Kindness Photography contest was born. Now, David hopes the images will help people to share the love with others.
Although it might feel as though the world is filled with doom and gloom, the likes of projects such as the Kindness Photography contest help to show there is still plenty of love to go around. Sometimes, we just need to look at things from a new perspective.
40 Cool Finds People Scored At Thrift Stores
Many people think that thrift stores are just places full of outdated junk. Truth is there’s always a chance you’ll find a hidden gem at your local thrift shop. In this article, we’ll be looking at the top 40 cool finds people scored at thrift shops.
Blast From Your Own Past
We all know the expression Blast From The Past. But how about being reminded not only of your own past but of something you created that changed popular culture and created millions of fans worldwide? Well, that’s what happened to this lovely lady when she found this cool Super Mario brothers suit at a thrift store in California. Cool fact: This lady was one of the animators of the Mario Brothers 3 video game back in 1987. How weird is it to create something and then find it again years later on a fabulous piece of clothing?
For those of us who lived through the ’90s, the Burger Phone was the phone to have. Before cellphones and smartphones were even a thought in someone’s brain, Burger phones were everywhere. The 2007 film Juno dusted off this cultural relic and reintroduced it to a whole new generation. If you ever want to go old school, we definitely recommend doing it this way!
Sure, cats are always there for a hug and a cuddle. But they can also be demanding and capricious at times. This feline seems to epitomize the classic grumpy cat. So when its owners found this gorgeous four post blue velvet bed at their local store they jumped at the chance to put (or at least try and put) a smile on their kitty’s face. Full disclosure: We don’t think the bed improved the cat’s mood at all!
Back To The Future
If you know the Back to the Future franchise then you’ll know that the Michael J. Fox character, Marty McFly, would get around on his skateboard. That is of course before he started taking the DeLorean car/time machine for a ride. Of course, we don’t know if this is the actual kangaroo ornament that was used in the film. In any case, it’s pretty cool.
We’ve already mentioned the pair of socks with a picture of a dog that looks exactly like the owner’s dog. How about finding a t-shirt that has a picture of a man on it with the word ‘hipster’ written underneath? No big deal, until you realize that the image looks exactly like you! You’ve officially been outed as a hipster. What would be even cooler is if he took a picture of himself and then a picture of a picture of a picture…
Does anybody remember the Tamagotchi? It was a little computerized animal from Japan that you had to feed, water and look after. If you didn’t properly care for it the Tamagotchi would become mean and ugly. If you continued to not be nice to it, the Tamagotchi would eventually die. How great to see a Tamagotchi in its original packaging! It’s a shame we can’t see the real price but we’re sure it was a steal.
Another great prom find from a thrift store. These two are completely decked out in fabulous clothes that are reminiscent of the 1920s. From a beautiful flapper dress to the gorgeous bow tie and suit, this really is a great way to stand out and look original on that special night. Great thing about a find like this is that it can be worn to any occasion, from a prom to a Halloween party.
Rock Band Souvenirs
We’ve seen various items on this list that have been blasts from the past. Imagine if you’re a guy who used to play bass guitar in a local band. One day you wander into your local goodwill store and find a t-shirt with your old band’s name and logo on it! We’re guessing Walking Seven never hit the big time, but what a cool find to see in your local shop years later. You never know, if the band gets back together this might be worth quite a bit!
One of the world’s most famous writers was Ernest Hemingway, who penned such classics as The Sun Also Rises and For Whom The Bell Tolls. One of Hemingway’s most famous novels was The Old Man And The Sea. As such, this hand-signed copy would sell for quite a chunk of change at auction. Lucky for this buyer, he got it for $2 at a yard sale. Of course, no one knows if this is Hemingway’s actual signature or a brilliant forgery. It sure would be something special if it was real!
1900s Are Back In Fashion
One of our favorite things is walking around museums, looking at historical artifacts and imagining what it must have been like to live during that time in history. So imagine how cool it would be to find a trunk load of clothes from the last century at your local thrift shop. Check out this gorgeous dress…in perfect condition! Wearing something as unique as this might start a whole new fashion trend.
Wow! We really, really want one of these. How cool to be able to turn on a lamp and have a flower light up? This one was found and purchased for $5. Its called an Aerolux Light. Apparently, the Aerolux Light Corporation was a manufacturer of artful gas-discharge light bulbs from the 1930s through the 1970s. Although you probably can’t buy these light bulbs anymore, you never know what you’ll find at your local thrift store.
See we’re not sure if this is weird, cool, or cool weird. Somebody thought they would kill two birds with one stone, and make a purse out of some old underwear. Sounds simple enough. Just add some wood to use as handles. And presto: Behold the new staple item you never knew you needed. Honestly, we don’t think this is going to be the newest fashion trend any time soon. We don’t even think its inventor thought the whole thing through. It’s kind of a problem when a purse has two holes from where everything could fall out.
Cast your mind back, and we mean way back. You might remember a time before electric or gas ovens when people used iron stoves. Instead of turning on a switch and heating up your food, these coal-powered babies were used for everything from cooking to heating. Now, imagine finding a miniature iron stove, one so small that it can be used inside a doll house. Seeing the miniature stove side by side next to these cats shows you how really teeny tiny it is.
Remember these babies? Mix tapes were how you would record your favorite songs from the radio or CD. Then, you would give the customized tape as a present to someone you really loved. Those of you old enough to remember cassette tapes will truly appreciate this inspired creation. The genius idea is the brainchild of a lady in Canada. What she did here is collect a bunch of old tapes, especially mix tapes, and turn them into a mural on her studio wall. Seeing the miniature stove side by side next to these cats shows you how really teeny tiny it is.
Finding a pair of reasonably priced socks might not be the coolest find in the world. But what about finding a pair that has the exact same face as your dog? This dog is identical to those socks, down to the left ear straining to hear what’s going on. Maybe the owner could make her dog famous and create an Instagram account for it. By having its own line of merchandise already, this K9 is well on its way towards super-stardom.
Total Fashion Steal
Now this is a total fashion steal! The owner probably couldn’t believe their luck when they found this gorgeous bag for $5 at a goodwill store. It’s beautiful, curvy and effervescent. Even better: It looks exactly like those famous Issey Miyake Bao Bao bags. We don’t know if it’s a genuine bag or a knock off. In any case the new owner got a definite deal…what a steal!
Seriously, who doesn’t love unicorns? Nowadays, people have entire rooms plastered with unicorn pictures, calendars, mugs and anything else you can imagine. But this little jewel isn’t only original, it’s way ahead of its time. You see, it dates back to way before the modern day unicorn phenomenon. After her fantastic thrift shop find the new owner did a little background check on the origins of this beauty. Turns out that it’s a cloisonne bracelet from the late 70s to early 80s. What a cool find!
Prom time is a special time, a moment young people have been dreaming of their entire high school lives. You want to look beautiful, classy and original. There’s nothing worse than someone copying your prom dress on prom night! Thankfully, this new dress owner probably won’t have to worry about that. This unique thrift shop find is unlikely to be copied anywhere, anytime. Not sure if this is an ice skater’s leotard or a super sequin dress from the 80s. You pick!
Like we mentioned previously, we’re all trying to be as environmentally conscious as we can. That’s why we always aim to reuse and recycle. And so even though there’s nothing more special than a wedding dress, let’s remember that it’s still a piece of clothing that’ll only be worn once. If you want to save some bucks and find a real gem you might try looking for a wedding dress at your local thrift store. This lady found something amazing, a beautiful off the shoulder wedding dress for $25. $25 isn’t bad, especially when you consider the original cost. The original price tag was still on the dress: $1595!
When You Gotta Go
This list might well reveal a bit of a cat obsession on our part. But we think you’ll forgive us after we’ve shown you this next thrift shop find. Ever wonder what a cat looks like when it’s desperate to go to the bathroom? Well, here you go! Two super funny cat pictures that were bought for $1 each. Wouldn’t it be great to have these hanging in your bathroom? What an affordable, unique and hilarious addition to your home!
Stephen Hawking Book
Another hand-signed book, this one purchased for a grand total of 99 cents at a goodwill store. This time, it’s a book by legendary British physicist Stephen Hawking. The text, however, was definitely penned by someone else. Stephen Hawking suffered from Motor Neurone disease, which left him paralyzed. But his thumbprint lets us know that Hawking witnessed and approved the signature. Stephen Hawking died in 2018, so this will most certainly be worth more than 99c in the future.
Words To Live By
It’s always good to have little mantras in life. Classic examples include “Work Hard, Play Hard”, “You Only Live Once” and “Carpe Diem”. These are the kinds of words that can help you get through those difficult times and spur you on. Now, this saying engraved on wood might not be as famous as those others. Still, we think it’ll do the trick and give you a laugh to boot. If you want to make it to the fine old age of 100 this sounds like sage advice, don’t you think?
Easels are used by painters to rest a painting on while a new masterpiece is being created. Traditional easels like this are very hard to come by. This easel looks like it must be hundreds of years old. Check out all those paints in the drawers. The person who found this gem may have gone into the thrift shop just looking for some standard art supplies. This find must have made that lucky person’s month! And this magnificent find was only $20!
New Wallet New Find
This brown leather wallet was bought at a thrift store for 25c. Peanuts, right? But then the new owner opened up the wallet and found at least $100. Talk about getting a great return on your investment! Who knows how this wallet ended up at a thrift store? But with no way of contacting the original owner, this is definitely a case of finders keepers.
All you rock lovers out there will appreciate this. With vinyl and record players coming back into fashion, record sales have hit the roof. Now, imagine finding a first printing of ’70s rock group Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here album. The record you stumble upon is still wrapped in the original plastic. Total cost…$1! I bet the original owner wishes the record was still with them. A serious vinyl collector would be willing to pay top dollar for this.
Sure, we’ve had some useful items on this list. But let’s face it, some of these finds have also been pretty useless. However, some things are just so beautiful that we just had to add them. This bamboo stick was found for $1. When it was opened up intricate and beautiful musical scenes greeted the lucky new owner. Maybe this is an instrument, or maybe it’s just a decoration. In any case, some items are simply and totally unique.
Want to look sophisticated while checking the time, instead of glancing at your smartphone? A thrift shop visitor found this incredible 1894 Elgin wristwatch for $10. Elgin watches were a major US watch maker that manufactured watches for a century, until the 1960s. These watches were famous for keeping amazing time. Only $10 and in perfect condition…a real treasure!
If you’re familiar with the Netflix series The Toys That Made Us, then you’ll know that these toys are worth way more than the $2.98 that someone visiting a thrift shop paid for them. All of these are unique Star Wars figurines and were sold together for a batch price. Turns out that these are collectible items that could be worth thousands of dollars to serious Star Wars collectors! Next time you trip over your kid’s Lego pieces, keep in mind that you might be tripping over a future investment.
Harry Potter Table
Calling all Harry Potter fans! You need to get your hands on this table. How it ended up in a thrift store is anyone’s guess. It’s quite a small table, and is beautifully crafted. The name of each different house appears on a different chair. This would be a great way to play the sorting hat game, don’t you think?
Now this is what we call vintage. This bottle was found at a yard sale. It’s a vintage bottle of expensive champagne Mumm, located in France. It dates all the way back to World War II. If you look closely, you’ll see that it has “reserved for allied armies” written across it. What an incredible artifact, though we can’t be sure about the taste.
Elvis Concert Tickets
We have no idea if concert tickets are collectible items. Still, two authentic 1976 concert tickets to an Elvis Presley show is a cool thing to find. The original price was $12.50, which seems like peanuts compared to today’s concert prices. Maybe these wouldn’t have been worth a lot had they been sold at auction, but they’re definitely worth a million bucks to a true Elvis fan!
Aren’t we all looking for a large statue of a Greek god to put outside our yard? There’s nothing classier than turning the entrance to your home into a garden of the Gods, no? This lucky yard sale visitor found just that. Not sure about the price, but we’re guessing it was a bargain. Whatever rocks your boat!
This ring was found in a thrift store for just $10. Little did the store know that the fake gold, diamond, and emerald were actually real. It’s 10 karats, and the ring was appraised at $450, which is a really awesome find! It’s gorgeous too, with a beautiful hue of green on the emerald. It’s not really enough money to warrant selling, anyway, so it looks like someone has a new piece of bling to show off in the neighborhood!
It’s really aggravating to have someone write on a record, but this is just hilarious. While we don’t know how much this was purchased for, it looks like the fact that it was defaced just increases its value. Liszt looks like someone played a joke on him and he has no idea he’s got a shopping list written on his forehead. Meanwhile, the person who jotted this down probably completely forgot they ever did this. It could only have been made better if they had written “Chopin” instead of shopping.
Someone bought this set of serious Shun knives for only $75. That sounds like a lot to spend in a thrift store, but when it costs $1,000 for a set of these expertly crafted blades, paying less than 10% is a steal. Knives should always be kept sharp for maintenance, and there’s even a sharpener included. Furthermore, these look like they are in excellent condition, possible never before used. Thrift stores can be amazing places to upgrade your home at a reduced cost!
$5 Jackson Pollock
Teri Horton bought an ugly painting for $5 to give to her friend. Her friend thought it was ugly, too, and couldn’t fit it in her small home. Horton tried to sling it at a garage sale, but then an art teacher said it might have been made by Jackson Pollock. In the end, Horton has tried to get it authenticated and is currently asking for $50 million for the alleged original. There’s even a movie called Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock? based on her initial response to the art teacher.
Wurlitzer is a defunct musical instrument maker known for keyboard instruments that they produced, most notably pianos. However, they also produced many organs, both pipe and electric. Although the original company went out of business decades ago, there were several attempts over the years at reviving the brand. While a piano is a more popular instrument to put in your home, an organ does just fine too. This collector’s item is worth far more than the $0.50 spent on it in the thrift store!
This old textbook was bought for just $0.25. Interestingly, such artifacts don’t get properly appraised often enough in thrift stores. This can be an incredible opportunity, as people often pass things on without knowing their true value. This ultra-rare astronomy book is from 1851, before the Civil War, even! It was intended to be used by pupils at New York public schools, but then it appreciated in value over years. These have sold on eBay for over $200!
Antique Schumann Piano
This piano wasn’t in that great of condition, which explains the $57.77 price tag someone paid for it at a thrift store. They had to move it themselves, and remarked that it was one of the heaviest things they ever bought from Goodwill. This particular piano is from 1939, which makes it an antique. Luckily, they were able to restore it to playing condition with a little finagling so that all the keys work. If the strings are that old, though, they should probably be replaced.
Signed Weezer Collectible
CDs were supposed to replace vinyl, but now it seems vinyl is even more coveted and CDs are getting tossed out. It’s crazy to think about how much we all used to pay for these, but now you can buy in bulk at the thrift store. This actually cost less than a dollar at Goodwill, but it was actually signed by the band Weezer! There are definitely fans online that would pay much more than $0.99 for this signed piece of history.
Night Vision Goggles
Night vision goggles should be worth much, much more than the $2.99 asking price here. It could be that this pair was broken or something, which might explain the price tag, but even then it could be fixed and sold for a hefty profit. Apparently, according to the person who posted this, it’s working fine, making it quite the steal. Night vision technology isn’t cheap, and this particular type goes for a few hundred dollars if you want to buy it retail.
Arnold Palmer Memorabilia
Arnold Palmer isn’t just a delicious mix of lemonade and iced tea, but also the name of one of the most famous golfers who ever lived. He’s also one of the greatest, with 62 PGA titles to his name. Someone bought a trunk full of old Arnold Palmer memorabilia, including notes and photographs. That’s really incredible, and it certainly is worth a lot of money if it were auctioned. According to the person who shared this, their grandfather purchased it for just $5.
$200-Worth of Silver
This is perfect if you want to make Turkish (or Greek) coffee over open flames, which in and of itself makes it worth much more than the $1.50 price tag this person paid. But on noticing the writing on the bottom, they realized it was made from silver — 92.5% silver! It’s been appraised at $200, which makes this one of the cooler finds. The fact that you can use this to make coffee just makes it so much cooler.
This Elvis bag was bought for about $30 back in 2012 by an English senior citizen. Little did he know it was actually a designer bag made by Philip Treacy, a high-end Irish designer who has done work for Royals and more. It then came out that the bag was worth over half a million dollars! Although it’s probably not for his use, his penchant for searching for bargains at thrift stores and garage sales paid off when buyers started contacting him!
This was bought for just 96 cents! You might remember Fry drinking Slurm soda in the classic Matt Groening show Futurama. We’re all waiting for the show to come back after it was canceled (again), but at least now die-hard fans have something to occupy their time while they wait. Sadly, it doesn’t look like it will ever happen, yet there’s always hope. While you might think there’s actually soda in the cans at first glance, this is really a game that resembles Yahtzee.
Signed Picasso Poster
One man in Columbus, Ohio, was walking around a local thrift store when he spotted this cool Picasso print. It’s actually a poster for a 1958 exhibition of the artist’s sculptures. That’s a really cool poster, and warranted the steep $14 asking price. It’s an original, but what he didn’t realize when he first saw it was that it had been signed by Pablo Picasso himself! He ended up selling the find for a hefty $7,000, which is quite a return on investment.
Declaration of Independence
On July 4, 1776, the U.S. declared its independence from Great Britain, and the 24 copies of the original declaration are some of the most sought-after documents on Earth. One Pennsylvanian man spotted a painting of a country scene and bought it for $4, just because the frame it came in looked cool. When he opened it, he found that a piece of paper was hidden behind. It turned out that the piece of paper was an original copy of the Declaration of Independence and went for $2.4 million.
Star Wars Mania
Some people really don’t know how lucky they are. This is a recurring theme on this list. Star Wars memorabilia like what you see here can potentially fetch hundreds of dollars. Look closely: The stuff is perfectly packaged and in pristine condition. But amazingly, some of these figurines sold for a mere $5 at a yard sale. This photo will surely have some Star Wars collectors fuming! Whoever put this up for sale clearly didn’t know its value!
Thrifty Ace Ventura
Here’s another example of how you can get something great out of reusing and recycling. Wouldn’t this be perfect for a Halloween party? Look at how great this guy looks as our favorite ’90s pet detective, Ace Ventura. All these items were bought at a thrift store for a grand total of $8. Is it us or does this guy actually look like Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura?
Dollar Bill Artwork
Now this is a cool piece of art. It’s made up of six uncut dollar bills. Uncut currency sheets are common collector’s items. They are often sold as souvenirs by issuers. However, this beauty was bought at a yard sale for the extremely low price of 50 cents. Great piece of art that’s probably worth much more than 50 cents.
Unicorns Strike Again
As we noted in a previous item unicorns are huge! They seem to be everywhere you look. But some of the unicorn-themed stuff found at yard sales and thrift stores are simply one of a kind. You’d have to travel far and wide to find something like this unicorn mirror, especially at the bargain price of $13. No, you can’t see your face in the mirror. But isn’t it more important to stand in front of a galloping unicorn?
For a lot of people, cameras have become obsolete. Nowadays, we rely on smartphones that can pretty much do all the work of traditional cameras. Once upon a time, these Nikon and Canon cameras were worth at least hundreds of dollars. It’s quite extraordinary that someone was able to pick them up for $12 and $9.99, respectively. Why not head over to a second hand store to see if you can land a real bargain, and learn a totally different way to take photos?
Pulp Fiction Ornament
If you’re a huge Quentin Tarantino fan like us you’ve probably seen Pulp Fiction a million times. So, do you recognize this kangaroo ornament? It was the object where Bruce Willis’ character’s watch was placed in. The watch plays a pivotal role in the film, so we can only imagine how excited the person who picked it up at a local thrift shop must have been. Of course, we don’t know if this is the actual kangaroo ornament that was used in the film. In any case, it’s pretty cool.