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Letter | Thrift shop success due to volunteers, community
Thank you, Mercer Island Reporter, for your story on the Mercer Island Thrift Shop. It truly is a gold mine for all that it funds and all the opportunities it provides to Islanders. And thank you to the thousands of Island families and individuals who donate to the thrift shop. We could not do the work of YFS without your support.
The thrift shop is much more to the Mercer Island community than a convenient location to recycle and shop for high-quality used goods while supporting human services on the Island. In addition to the quality shopping experience the thrift shop offers to Islanders and Island visitors, it also provides important community services such as internships for high school students, entry level employment for individuals with special needs and a community service opportunity for many.
At the heart of the thrift shop’s success are its volunteers. Those who give of their time to support the thrift shop range in age from middle school students to Islanders over 90 — each individual brings their own unique skill or expertise. Some volunteers have been with us for over 10, 20 and even 30 years. Thrift shop volunteers are an amazing group of Islanders who are committed to their community and to supporting the well-being of their neighbors. They possess a level of knowledge and expertise that has made the thrift shop the store it is today. Our volunteers alone are a gold mine.
When you donate goods or shop at the thrift shop, you are playing a significant role in sustaining all the programs of Mercer Island Youth and Family Services:
• Mental health counselors at each elementary school, the middle school and the high school.
• A high school drug and alcohol counselor.
• A geriatric specialist who provides senior outreach.
• A middle school prevention professional.
• Family and emergency services, including the Food Pantry.
• Mental health services.
• The Communities That Cares Coalition, working to reduce underage drinking.
• Diversion and early intervention for youth involved with the law.
• Youth development services, including VOICE.
Thank you, Mercer Island, for giving back to your community through your donations and gift of volunteer time at the thrift shop.