When planning our fall Front End Leadership meeting agenda, I wanted to include a fun team building activity that would allow us to get to know each other outside the typical work environment while allowing us to give back to others. The search for a volunteer opportunity for our group of 18 started at the Volunteer Center website: http://www.volunteergb.org/opportunities.php which led us to St. Vincent DePaul in Green Bay.
On Thursday, Oct. 6th, our team traveled to St. Vincent DePaul where we volunteered for 2 hours. Due to the size of our group, we were split up in to small groups which allowed us to assist in various departments and tasks throughout the store. A couple of Front End Managers shared their experience below:
You will be sorting the bric brac”, is what we were told as the last 5 or 6 of our group were taken upstairs at St. Vincent dePaul resale shop in Green Bay. My initial question was, “what the heck is bric brac??” I soon found out that this is their term to define anything that has been donated that has not yet been sorted. For the 2 hours that we were at St. Vincent DePaul’s, it was my job to sort the “bric brac” into 50 different categories. Some of these categories included clothing, shoes, metal, jewelry, small toys, large toys, hazardous (anything liquid that could not be resold), cookware, and a plethora of other groupings. We were not alone in our sorting of the bric brac as there were some regular volunteers who were very helpful and willing to show us how things were done. They made the comment that we were “too efficient” to which we answered “that is how we do things at Festival!” We wanted to make sure that when we left we had done as much work as possible to help them out.
Front End Manager
Fond du Lac Festival Foods
“Saving souls one sole at a time” was hung above the station where I got to help at Saint Vincent de Paul resale store. The front end managers were able to reach out to the community by sorting through all of the donations people dropped off. We were split up into groups to handle glass items, tag and hang up clothes, sort shoes, and even run the service counter! Kristin and I jumped at the chance to work with regular volunteer Phil sorting through old and new shoes deciding which ones were able to be resold. Little tiny sandals had to be bound together with twist ties to prevent them from getting separated. Semi-dirty shoes were cleaned and freshened up so they could be placed in the proper box. Phil was quick to help us make decisions. Even when we didn’t think a shoe could be resold. Phil explained that people that shop here aren’t that picky. They are there to pick up some things at a good price and they sure can find it there! We were busy putting dollar amounts on the soles of each pair of shoes to make it easy for the shoppers to find. Phil chatted about how he volunteered at Saint Vincent de Paul for many years and it brings him joy just to know that he helps so many others that are less fortunate. We were only there for two hours yet I understood what Phil meant. Kristin and I hope that we were able to save one soul at a time by sorting through 4 bins of shoes that day.
Copeland FE Manager
Both our team and the community benefited from this experience!