About two weeks ago I finally got my butt down to the local pantry and became an official volunteer. Though I worked two days there that week my official working day would only be one day a week.
It really is quite a work out. After all I have to show up at noon and stay for two whole hours in the thrift shop. Sorting and tagging clothes is almost unbearable. Lift, hold up, look for stains and rips, lower, if it’s good tag it with a gun, if it’s bad put it in the going out bag, if it’s good hang it up, start all over again. Then sometimes I go to the pantry to tear boxes up. Talk about a work out! Actually the second day I did that I did have sore arms. I know, that’s pathetic. But I have an excuse, it’s CWWW, (cold Wisconsin winter weather). Then there’s the socializing. I’m wore out just thinking about it. Ok, truth is it’s easy and I enjoy it.
The thrift shop part of the pantry uses it’s earnings for the pantry. The prices are kept low because most of the customers come from the pantry so likely they can’t afford a lot. It’s a pretty cool system.
Today at the thrift shop there were quite a few customers. Everyone was friendly and talkative. Maybe the spring almost warm weather is starting to thaw folks out. At one point a customer was telling us about her son’s girlfriend breaking up with her son and blaming her for it. She said the girl blamed her because she felt the mother raised him wrong. I told her that according to *Malcolm Gladwell that wither parents like to hear it or not kids are shaped by who they spend the most time with which would usually be their peers at school. She said she wanted me to write that down and something about making it her Facebook status. Then another shopper kind of cried out that what I said was so true. I though maybe she was speaking in humor but when I looked at her face she was very serious. I said something to her about her understanding what I said and she explained how her son was treat badly all through out his school life and still affected by it today. She looked so sad. It seemed she was surprised to hear someone explain how her and her son felt all these years. We didn’t get to talk about it anymore after that because things in the store were poppin but I hope she takes home a sense of not being alone, that there are people who understand out there.
It’s wonderful to be able to meet needs and touch a soul for good. And no, I didn’t write down what I said for the other lady but I am curious about her Facebook status!
The pic on the right is of Kyle and me trying to copy Macklemore. I got the jacket at the pantries thrift shop last winter when I didn’t have a heavy coat and was tired of layering to try to stay warm. It only cost me a couple bucks.
*If you want to know the exact quote from Malcolm Gladwell then read The Tipping Point and Outliers: The Story of Success. It’s in one of those books. While you’re at it you may as well read Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. It’s pretty awesome!
Well that’s funny, I posted a picture of Macklemore and I talked about Gladwell in the same blog. Macklemore has a song called Ten Thousand Hours where he talks about Malcolm Gladwell. The Ten Thousand Hours concept comes from Gladwells book Outliers. I just caught what I had done and had to mention it.