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To the editor:
Much has been written and repeated about the benefit that the St Luke Auxiliary Thrift Shoppe offers to St Luke Hospital, Clinic and Living Center from a financial perspective.
While all of that is very true, the Auxiliary’s volunteer thrift shop also offers enormous benefit in other ways to the city of Marion and the community at large. We don’t want to see it go away.
The shop’s reputation for cleanliness and quality of goods brings people from outside the community every week — adding dollars to the pockets of other businesses in the community as visitors seek lunch and supplies while in town and shop at other local establishments.
Customers clothe entire families, purchase housewares and toys at exceptional prices, and enjoy the ever-changing displays and offerings — all cleaned and prepared before ever reaching the shelves in “the front of the house.”
Dishes are washed; clothing is prepared, sized and marked; toys are cleaned and batteries checked; electrical items are tested; linens are inspected and sized.
Of course, none of this is possible without the tireless hours of the volunteers. What do we get out of it? Obviously, it isn’t money, but surely we get something in exchange for the hours spent, you might ask. And the answer is, of course we do!
We get to watch families find things they needed or wanted and children’s faces when they receive a toy they wouldn’t have received any other way.
We get to build relationships and friendships with people we would not have met.
For those of us who did not raise a family in this community, we meet great people with differing career backgrounds and skill sets — good people with good hearts who want to serve in some way.
We’re free to set our own hours and be available when it works for us. Yet we recognize that what we do is important, and we would not want to let others down by simply staying home.
We want to do it for each other and for the community. That’s a great reason to get up every day and offer our time. And, at the end of the day, it’s good to know that what we did that day was worthwhile.
We are collectively representative of the community. We have mostly retired nurses, teachers, farmers/ranchers, cosmetologists, accountants, bankers, county employees, laborers, cooks, ministers, executives, and others.
We need more of us, though. We need cashiers up front, and we need “back of the house” folks to sort, clean, price, mark, and display items.
Without new volunteers the shop will not survive another year.
It truly takes a village to keep the shop doors open to serve. If you have any desire to be part of that village, we need you.
Last modified Jan. 12, 2022