How did you get your start at Avenues?
I have some long-time friends whose daughter is a resident of Avenues and went to school with my boys. I respect what the organization does and I've seen the impact it has on people's lives. For several years, I would come to the shop on Saturdays to support the cause, but didn't think I could volunteer because of my work schedule. When I found out I could help on a restricted basis, I was on board! Since my retirement this past July, I've been able to help more and in different ways. I love my time working with Avenues.
What is your favorite item that has been donated to the Avenues
There are so many wonderful things that have come into the Shoppe, that it's hard to come up with one. We all love thinking about what the stories might be behind the donations. Early on in my volunteer experience, we got a beautiful Tiffany-style table lamp, as we cleaned it up, it became more and more lovely. It sold in a heartbeat!
What are some of the skills you see being used by the Avenues program participants who work at the Thrift Shoppe?
The Thrift Shoppe is a great training ground. I've seen clients use sorting and decision making, staying on focus, problem solving with electronics and appliances that are donated, and being creative with personal art projects. Clients are encouraged to "be all they can be", within an atmosphere of respect. The clients take a great deal of pride in having a job and being able to contribute in a tangible way.
We hear there might be a new project happening at the Thrift Shoppe involving online sales. What are some items that would be really helpful for people to donate to help support this new project?
Of course we appreciate all the donations we get, including housewares, accessories and clothing. For the new online project, we are looking for unique items, collectibles and pieces that may have a little more value. Crystal, fine china, and vintage housewares are good examples. Since we're just getting started with this, we will learn over time what is most appealing to our customers/supporters.