All of my life I have heard the sentence. “It’s the little things that count”. As a child and teenager I was surrounded by families that exemplified exactly the opposite. They had big houses, big cars, big lake houses and big bank accounts. I was confused about how different what I saw was from what I heard.
I still do believe that it is the little things that count. I see that sentence exemplified each week at the St. Francis Thrift Store. Anyone who has not witnessed this, please take time out of a busy weekend and come to witness this huge operation for yourself. I work on Saturdays and when I arrive, the donations have been sorted, priced and lovingly displayed in the appropriate place in the correct department. This is a mammoth task and volunteers from St. Francis and those not from St. Francis work throughout the week to make this all come together to produce a $5000.00+ weekend.
Though the money and its destination for those in need is amazing, the efforts behind the scenes also are amazing. The volunteers have a bond of friendship that surpasses anything I have ever seen. They are kind to each other and make each other feel appreciated. One volunteer who has been working for several years told of the work of a newcomer to the work force. She did a wonderful job and was told, “I appreciate all of your hard work”. She seemed shocked that what she considered to be a small contribution could be greeted in such a way.
The customers frequently tell the volunteers how much they enjoy shopping there – for the merchandise, to be sure, but equally important is the way they are made to feel special. Quite often the customers and volunteers engage in conversation if time allows and comments are made about how the customers love to come shop at the Thrift Store. Many of the customers are on a regular schedule and come to the store at exactly the same time each week. If they are late or ill and not able to come shop, the volunteers worry and truly miss them.
We, at St. Francis are truly blessed to have this ministry and the outstanding work force to operate the St. Francis Thrift Store. It’s time to give a loud “shout out” to Karen Wade and the volunteers doing God’s work through the St. Francis Thrift Store.