Are you a volunteer? Have you ever wanted to become a volunteer? A few years back a friend and I began to volunteer at a local non-profit thrift store that helps out needy and low income families. Everyone is welcome and the proceeds go to local families, charities and programs like Toys for Tots. Everyone that works there is a volunteer. It’s called the Civic Center and people have been donating new and used items there for years. Anything that can be reused and is in good shape is resold at very affordable prices.
It’s not a place to make a profit, it’s a place to help out. Everyone around here knows they can drop off used items and that they will be given away or resold to help those in need. Items the Civic Center doesn’t sell are passed onto the YMCA. Like many thrift stores clothing is the biggest items that are sold. Shoes, belts, toys, books and toys are really popular.
I have been quite surprised at some of the things people donate to the store. Many items are new such as clothing with the tags still on them. New books and even new shoes. There’s many treasures to be found at a thrift store that’s been around for decades! There are very loyal shoppers that come in regularly and will spend a few hours looking through over every square inch of the store just hoping to find something they didn’t know they needed but just have to have! Many times when a new family has relocated to this area or a family in need the store is open after hours for them. Often they get what they need for free, school clothes for the kids, pots and pans but more importantly a knowing that someone cares.
The flip side is the environmental impact. Brand new items are sometimes dropped off but I’d say about 95% of the items are used. I’ve seen what comes through a store like this and this is in a small town. To see how it gets given away or resold is amazing! That is so much better than going to a landfill! It takes care of two parts of the ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ mantra we all should live by!
There’s many ways to volunteer and I hope you choose to give some of your time to the benefit of others. Service to others is a major foundation block of the worlds religions and philosophies. When you volunteer you understand the feeling of love and compassion. The feeling of helping, giving and creating a better world for others. The amazing thing is, it all comes back to you, even when you’re not looking or asking for it.
Go and volunteer, you’ll love others and yourself for it!