Volunteer groups who spend the day at Impact Thrift Stores, have the unique opportunity to learn the heart of our organization and develop a genuine community partnership. Volunteer experiences are inspiring and can be transformational for both the staff members of Impact Thrift and the volunteers who serve…as was certainly the case the morning of August 20th, when Impact Thrift was joined by a group of college students from Gwynedd Mercy College.
The students from Gwynedd Mercy arrived promptly at 9 am, bright-eyed, enthusiastic , personable and ready to go! After receiving a volunteer orientation and tour of the Montgomeryville store from Jo Greenawalt, Director of Business Development, the group of 8 were in for a real treat. They had the pleasure of sitting with Impact Thrift’s staff during their morning meeting, and hearing a heartfelt presentation from the directors of one of Impact Thrift’s supported charities, Chariots for Hope (a locally-based, non-profit organization located in Dresher Pa.)
The directors of Chariots for Hope held the staff and volunteer’s attention captive as they shared stories of how they are changing the lives of hundreds of vulnerable, abandoned and orphaned children in Kenya, East Africa. Chariots shared first hand stories of the life changing work that they perform on a day-to-day basis; but furthermore, they impressed upon the staff and volunteers Impact Thrift’s instrumental role in going above and beyond to financially support their cause of providing healthy living environments, educational, medical and emotional care to those children, through their network of Children’s Homes.
After hearing the presentation, Jen Fransen, Gwynedd Mercy’s Volunteer Coordinator, turned to me and said, “I’m glad that our group had the chance to sit in an hear from the Charity. It helps to put what we are doing here today into full perspective.” Looking at Jen, at that moment, I felt as thought I saw more than the smile in her eyes…I saw her heart open. In that moment, what Jen didn’t realize is that my heart was open as well. I felt very fortunate to host the team of loyal volunteers from Gwynedd Mercy who decided to spend their valuable time and energy to help us support a variety of charities, such as Chariots for Hope, that support families and children in crisis. The shared experience inspired us both, and filled us with a sense of joy as our two organizations united as compassionate community partners.
Impact Thrift truly values each and every volunteer group that serves with us, and walks alongside us as we work hard every day to makes sure that we are doing the best we can to support families and children in crisis, not only in our neighboring communities, but abroad. A special thanks goes out to Jen Fransen, Julianna Feltwell, Migdalia Salles, Rachel Moots, Chris Pembroke, Chris Selke, John Davis, and Michael Czerwonka of Gwynedd Mercy College. An extended thanks goes out to Caleb Eckhardt, and the staff of Chariots for Hope for sharing their journey, as they defend the forgotten children in Africa.
If you want to make a difference in the lives of those who are most in need in your local communities, contact Tamika Miller, Community Outreach Coordinator, to arrange a day of service for your school, church, corporation or organization.