This year, our department did quarterly team building meetings. It is hard to attend those types of meetings because the store needs management supervision most of the time. We went to the first one but were unable to go to the next 2. They brought the meeting to our store for the last one. That was today. They were going to all pitch in and help us out where ever we needed it. My boss and I joked about who would get stuck with bathroom cleaning and hanger sorting. Truthfully, I was a little stressed out about how we were going to keep all those people busy.
So yesterday I get a phone call. We have community partnerships with different organizations. One of my contacts from the school district called me. (They send all their donations to us, mostly clothing, and in turn we will give items to kids that need it.) She had an eagle scout who had done a donation drive. He had gathered over 400 coats, a whole heap of blankets, and boxes of food. They were all brought to our store today about an hour before the service project started. YES! We had something to get people to work on. Now, understand that there is always something to work on at the Thrift Store but it takes a lot of creativity to keep 11 people busy for 3 hours without tripping over each other and stealing my volunteers' work spaces. They had those coats all hung and put out so fast. It was amazing and awesome!
During the day, I had a woman from the homeless shelter bring in a voucher for clothing. She was wearing a smith's plastic grocery bag as a belt. She literally could carry all her belongings in a backpack. She was able to get a coat among other needed essentials. Don't worry, she did get a belt. I did tell her that she made the smith's grocery bag look good though. I had all my winter clothing items priced and put out when it was still 90 degrees. We have to get it done soon or it doesn't get done. Anyway, we were low on coats and THIS week it started to finally feel like winter. It was a much needed donation and it was donated at a very perfect time, when I had people to work on them and get them out fast. Within a couple of hours it was all done. I was so grateful that it worked out so well.
Later that night we had a Christmas party at a lovely home. She showed a beautiful Josh Groban video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPDimGnpv4g Then she shared what she was thankful for about each of us. We all then shared something we were thankful for. It was a lovely evening and Staheli catering provided the delicious food.
I'm thankful that all my belongings don't fit inside a backpack. I'm so thankful to be working in a job that I am able to help people like the ones in the video. I'm grateful that the experiences at my job remind me of how much I have. I'm blessed to be able to help someone, somewhere, somehow with every effort I put forth in my job. Helping homeless people with clothing, jobless people with interview attire, abused women with household items, helping someone find a treasure and a smile, and lower income families with affordable COOL needs and wants. This is why I do what I do. It isn't an easy job, and sometimes it can be heartbreaking. I get to work with some amazing volunteers and I see miracles and good every day. This is why I'm generally an upbeat and positive person. I have so much to be grateful for.