You hear it often – Shop. Donate. Volunteer. But what’s it like to be a Volunteer at Impact Thrift?
I spoke with Janice Miller, one of our wonderful dedicated volunteers who offered to share her story.
“Like most people, things didn’t turn out exactly the way they were planned,” said Janice when we spoke earlier this week. “Originally, I was an English teacher, and I taught for six of the worst years of my life” in a Philadelphia high school. “Then, I wanted something calm so I went to library school and got a degree in Library Science. You can’t get much calmer than being a librarian.”
But again, life took a different turn, and Janice became a temporary employee in the computer science industry. She soon became a programmer trainee, and through on-the-job training she became a programmer and eventually a project manager. “A good fit for my skill set because I’m naturally bossy and organized!” she joked.
As that company changed due to the times, outsourcing and downsizing, Janice was able to retire at the age of 55. Not one to sit at home, she began working for her niece who owned a greeting card and stationary business. Janice participated in every aspect of the retail business from shipping to billing to customer service to taking out the trash!
Recently, she chose to retire again in order to focus on some of her other interests. Calling upon her past experience as an English teacher and librarian, Janice chose to be a literacy tutor.
“In the process of getting set up with that,” she explained, “I went to RSVP and learned about Impact Thrift.” The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program connects those wishing to volunteers their time with organizations that would love the help. For more information about RSVP, go to http://www.rsvpmc.org.
“I need to be busy. I needed something more. I’m here two days per week and after working for Impact I go to the library to tutor,” said Janice. “I like it here so much more than I ever expected. I like the people, working with the staff and the customers. There are customers who come in every single week. It keeps me coming back. It brings out something in my personality that other activities don’t.”
Janice was not a thrift shopper before volunteering at Impact Thrift.
“I never went to a thrift shop because my sister is a thrift shop shopper, and she looks horrible. So I thought, that’s what they have at thrift shops. But once I was here, I came to realize it’s not the fault of the thrift shop; it’s the lousy taste of my sister!” (Shhhh… don’t tell her sister she said that!)
Janice also appreciates her volunteer discount.
“I have many items I’ve gotten for 82 cents. When I go out to lunch with my friends I’ll go like 82 cents (pointing to her sweater)… my Eddie Bauer down jacket… nine dollars! It’s fun!”
As life gets busier and busier every day, one of the greatest gifts you can give is the gift of your time. Are you interested in giving your time and becoming a volunteer at one of our stores or Donation Processing Center? Contact us today to find out how you can get involved!