Steven has been volunteering at the Mission’s Thrift Store 3 days a week for about 3 years now. He’s become a valuable part of the Thrift Store team, and the Thrift Store has become a valuable part of Steven’s plan for social development.
A typical day includes participating in devotions with the staff, bringing in donations, unloading the truck, moving items to the floor, and training new clients and volunteers. Says Steven very quietly, “I like coming here. I get to see my buddies. They miss me when I’m not here.” Steven’s “buddies” include a wide variety of individuals – staff, clients, volunteers and store customers. They love him and appreciate him. He’s learned that his involvement helps out other people, including children, and that the money from the Thrift Store supports the Mission. What else has he learned? “God loves us regardless. God wants us to love people like God loves us.”
Veronica, Steven’s support person, accompanies him each time he volunteers. She credits Steven’s volunteer experience with a significant increase in his social skills and ability to connect with others. “We’re all helping each other. Being able to interact with people from different walks of life, to step outside of self, has not only made Steven a better person; it’s made me a better person too. To see clients rebuild, get jobs, learn new skills – it’s mutually rewarding.”
Thank you, Steven, for your dedication to Raleigh Rescue Mission. Keep up the good work!