Lighthouse World Charity Thrift Store, located at 1727 Wilshire Blvd, opened four years ago as a venture to raise money for missionary trips organized by Santa Monica’s Lighthouse Church. Each year, church members travel to Africa and many other countries to provide medical supplies for people in need.
Martin Gaeta, the new manager of the store, is on a mission to raise awareness for the cause and make the shop a central meeting place for community members. Last December he hosted a fashion show called 50 Shades of California (teehee), and locals got together to model their takes on seasonal California fashion. On Monday night, the store hosted its first open mic night, which will continue to be held on the first Monday of every month.
Amidst the racks of clothes and locally hand-painted surfboards, performers showcased their talents by playing the guitar or cracking a few jokes. Audience members could watch the show while enjoying coffee and dessert.
The shop is nonprofit, so the staff is small, but many of its volunteers are UCLA students. It’s easy to feel at home when you see a framed UCLA shirt signed by various former athletes (next to a bare USC tee… they should really take that down) when you walk in to the store. If you tell them you’re a Bruin they will give you an automatic 25% off the already cheaply-priced clothes, which include $15 brand name jeans and handpicked vintage frocks. Even if you don’t consider yourself a thrifty fashionista, stop by this store for art, music, furniture, a soda or some of Gaeta’s stellar surfing advice.