A booklet celebrating 15 years of Gift & Thrift lists Dorothy Kreider’s notes about eight reasons given for having an MCC Thrift Store. Among them are “Recognizing the Importance of Small Things”. Over the last month, as I have been giving tours to new volunteers, many of whom are not familiar with MCC’s mission, I find myself talking about the importance of every small act within the operation of Gift & Thrift.
As much as we might wish that we could blink and clear the warehouse of items waiting to be processed, we all know that isn’t how life works (We receive a LOT of donations!). What I have come to embrace in time I have been with Gift & Thrift is that every item counts. First, it was treasured by someone before it made its way here. It may have been a family heirloom. It might have been in a Christmas stocking or a birthday gift bag, it might have been found on the beach, or created from wondrous imagination. Every item here has been gifted to us to offer a new life, to save from the landfill, to bring someone else joy, and sometimes, to be recycled.
The process of moving items from the donation dock, into departments, and onto the sales floor takes a lot of hands, and every step along the way is necessary and important. Every item wiped down, every tag applied, every book tested, every bag filled with crayons matters and allows us to continue our mission. There is no small task completed that a team member somewhere isn’t deeply grateful for.
I like to think that we honor each donation in some way as it passes through the various hands that touch it. We give thanks that someone cared enough to bring it to us, that it may support our mission of caring presence, community, and stewardship to the environment. Many of the items that we are not able to sell are given to other local charities that support homeless, refugees, and children in non-profit daycare in our city. (Do you know an organization we might be able to help? Please reach out to us and let us know!)
During this time of Covid, many of our volunteers are doing things from home. Perhaps they are testing cameras or sewing machines, maybe they’re putting clothes on Barbies, or checking that games and puzzles have all their pieces. Do you have an interest, talent, or skill and a little bit of time to give? We’d love to talk to you about volunteer opportunities.
Our operation looks very different than a year ago, but I am privileged to witness small acts of friendship, kindness, and grace among staff, volunteers, and shoppers every day.