Dear Dollar Tree,

My inexpensive savior, my knight in bright green armor.

I learned of your existence when I was exploring less expensive options for buying materials for one of my student organizations. When I discovered just how small our budget for the academic year was and how expensive supplies at popular grocery and craft stores could get, I wandered into the realm of discount and dollar stores. Under your signature green lettering, there is no need to ask for a student discount here because unlike many stores with the word "dollar" in its name, yours is truly a dollar store. Not "around a dollar," not "discount," but simply a store where everything is actually a dollar. You seem to have almost anything I need at much affordable prices than mainstreamed retail chains.

Decorating my college living space makes my temporarily contracted environment look homier. I didn't want decorations that were expensive because they were liable to be torn down in one of my neighbor's drunken journeys down the hallway or simply stolen off my door (this was a time when I still didn't know my floormates very well). I was ecstatic when I discovered your holiday section, Dollar Tree, for I loved the hangable welcome signs and stickables for the border around the door. You have me covered for Halloween, Winter Holidays, Valentine's Day, and Springtime. The cute knick-knacks that you sell are great for making my living space look less prison-like and more festive on a budget.

In addition to decorating, you make school projects and posters less of a financial burden. Last year, I was in a creativity living-learning community where most supplies were provided in the small fee each community member paid each semester. However, there was one project that required me to purchase supplies we didn't have to make it look nice. You had supplies such as vases, poster paper, electric tea light candles, and tea light holders. The price of these supplies paled in comparison to what popular crafting stores such as A.C. Moore and Michael's were charging.

Although I wish you existed closer to my university campus so I wouldn't have to drive to one of your locations, I understand why you are not conveniently situated in the heart of Downtown New Brunswick--you are a big corporation. Sure, we have places like Rite Aid and Dunkin' Donuts. But the city would not place its local stores out of business through dropping another one of your thousands of stores that would shutter local stores.

Despite the constant presence of Christianity in the products you sell, such as books and candles, you are still my go-to store for many of my needs. To that, I say thank you Dollar Tree, for helping me live my best life with a variety of essentials under a dollar.

Sincerely,

A College Student