Episode 4: Second(hand) Chances

Mar 18, 2013

Give Good Works, a Wynwood thrift store and charity, gives your old and gently used items a second chance.  However, the point is to give people a second chance.  Jennifer Rousseau, who works at the store, transformed her life with the help of the shop’s founder Heather Klinker.

“A lot of people would have given up on us girls,” said Rousseau. “Heather didn’t. She kept going. She’s a hero to me. I love her.”

Rousseau was addicted to drugs and working as a prostitute when Klinker found her in the dumpster behind the thrift store.  Rousseau ultimately went to rehab and got clean.

Heather Klinker started Give Good Works ten years ago this month.  Her goal is to make the streets of downtown Miami a little friendlier and to give people, especially women, a leg up as they start their lives over. Klinker drove around the streets of Miami in her Saab convertible when she first started, helping prostitutes get to rehab and providing them with clothes and books to help them through.

“Nobody wakes up and says I want to be a prostitute on Biscayne Boulevard,” Klinker said. “It’s the worst life you could possibly live.  Everyone should give to some imperfect population out there that needs help.”

Give Good Works was also part of Klinker’s own personal transformation.

Under the Sun co-host and senior producer Alicia Zuckerman interviewed both women about their second chances. Learn more about Klinker’s work, and Rousseau’s recovery, by clicking on the audio player at the top of the post.

You can find out more about Give Good Works, and making donations, here.

You know the saying about someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure?  Well, Give Good Works doesn’t want your trash.  Klinker asks donors to consider this before you donate those burlap pants: “Is this something I would want to give my best friend? Is this something my best friend would want?”

Special thanks to Sammy Mack for production assistance with this story.