Being a volunteer in thrift stores may mean something different for everyone. For some, it is a social responsibility, providing a sense of belonging, while others use it to de-stress and feel productive. A thrift store volunteer knows that giving back to family, friends, and the community matters, and that knowledge makes them feel fulfilled.
No matter who you are and how much time you have to share, there is a volunteering experience that will excite your interests and match your skills, all while you get to enjoy servicing the community.
Things to Do When Volunteering in Thrift Stores
Most thrift shops have several volunteers who take part in every aspect of daily operations. This includes receiving and sorting donations for assessment, organizing products for display, and cleaning. This last element is very important because for a second-hand shop to make good sales, the items must look presentable, if not brand-new. With the stocks changing daily, staff and thrift store volunteers should work diligently to keep a clean canvas and showcase items creatively.
What Are the Benefits of Volunteering in Thrift Stores?
1. It’s a Good Way to Socialize and Make New Friends
Meeting and working with new people engaged in the same mission is an excellent way to be part of something good while enjoying your time spent.
2. You Can Help Other People
This is probably one of the greatest reasons why many people, old and young, want to start volunteering. It always feels good to give back or help other people. Your dedication and work can help change many people’s lives. Most thrift stores support a charity. You’ll definitely create an impact on them by rendering service wholeheartedly.
3. It’s a Job Opportunity
While most people work for free, other volunteers earn a decent amount of money either in the form of a salary or allowance, and that is totally fine! Also, volunteer opportunities are flexible. While most thrift stores will require a minimum age of 16 or 18, there are often no upper limits! You can volunteer even if you are already in your 50’s.
Most do not require prior experience to volunteer and provide all the training needed to make you feel comfortable and successful. All you need is compassion, good communication and listening skills, and a nonjudgmental attitude.
4. You’ll Learn New Skills
Your volunteer experiences will look excellent on a resume. Aside from the usual sourcing, cleaning, and displaying of donated items, a thrift store volunteer also learns transferable skills like computer use, merchandising, cashiering, decision making, and others. These skills will certainly help you grow and prepare you for what’s coming in the future.
One of the benefits of volunteering in thrift stores is that owners often take additional steps to provide professional reference letters. Evidence suggests that nearly 95% of employees who previously volunteered said that their experiences helped them get their job.
5. It Keeps You Busy and Productive
Volunteering was always a good way for people to get busy, especially for teenagers. Evidence shows that adolescents who engage in prosocial behaviors, which include volunteering, are less likely to break moral codes and engage in substance abuse or addiction.
Prosocial behaviors are excellent markers of moral development. It teaches people to be kind, considerate, selfless, and respectful.
6. It’s Healthy
Aside from relieving stress, volunteering in thrift stores can also help improve your sense of well-being. Evidence suggests that adults over 50 years old who volunteered regularly have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure.
Performing volunteer work can help increase physical activity. Many find it to be helpful in stress reduction, promoting longevity.
Haven House operates three thrift stores in Panama, Santa Rosa, and Destin FL and one in Lebanon, TN. All of which help to raise funds for men undergoing treatment and recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. We will be more than happy to welcome you to the family, should you wish to try working as a thrift store volunteer.