My aim was to work for a few hours and get a feel for what we might be doing to help at a thrift store recently opened by one of our members. She is a new Christian and has a passion for helping those who need a second chance. That is the name of her store.
What I didn't know was how I would see service magnified in those short few hours!
Here is the owner of Second Chances and some of the pretty items she has displayed. I watched as she greeted customers so happily. I watched as she asked two men that pick up things for her go get two nice shelf displays from another nearby store and she paid one of them with a pair of shorts. She asked me if I knew of any groups who could help him get his gas turned back on. She went next door to see if a pawn shop had a record player for a customer seeking one. I also observed her getting in trouble for trying to sell a couch on the lawn outside of the shopping center. She smiles through it all. She told me about the jewelry brought in weekly by a woman in our church who makes jewelry and helps her display it. She showed me the lovely draperies recently dry-cleaned and brought in from a member of our church to sell. She knows the customers who steal. She helps anyway. This gal is something else. She loves Jesus and wants to serve.
I watched as a customer engaged her employee (below) in conversation. They had both worked for Salvation Army and had lots to talk about. After she made a purchase, she came back in and gave the employee a $20 bill to help buy her next bus pass. I about cried!
All I did was hang up clothing and sort shoes and greet customers. But I learned a lot more about what she is doing and the people she helps and those who are blessing her - oh, the stories! I enjoyed working alongside both of these fine ladies. It was a great day!