Lucy Massong taught her daughter well. As a long-time volunteer, Lucy would bring her daughters with her, finding useful ways to keep them busy.
Now, 16-year-old Emily volunteers at the Salvation Army Thrift Store along side her mother and find the time they spend together just flies by.
The Massong family recently moved to Quesnel from Mackenzie where both women were dedicated volunteers, but they’ve never been happier than they are at the Thrift Store.
“I’ve volunteered where I couldn’t wait for my shift to be over but never here, it’s always too short,” Emily said.
Lucy knew that finding a place to volunteer would help the transition to a new community and says working at the Thrift Store has been just the kind of door opening she was looking for.
“Volunteering is a great way to meet people when you’re new to the community,” she said.
“Even in the short time I’ve been here I’ve met so many people.”
Emily has found other reasons to enhance her volunteer work at the Thrift Store.
“We can regularly shop for treasures and volunteering is also great for the resume,” she said with a smile.
“I also like to work with my mom.”
From the moment they stepped through the Thrift Store doors, both Lucy and Emily said the staff and other volunteers at the store were so welcoming.
“They’re fun to work with,” Emily said.
As for where they shop, Emily said for all the women in the family, shopping at thrift stores is a choice.
“I’d rather shop in thrift stores and spend money on memories than stuff.”
And both women agreed it’s not about working for wages, it’s about time, a more precious commodity.
“Volunteering at the Salvation Army, you might not get paid but you come home happy and I believe you still get paid, just not with money, everyone is so appreciative here, even the littlest acknowledgement is worth it,” Lucy said.
Emily scoffs at the idea there’s nothing to do in this community, especially for young people.
“Get out and volunteer, shut off the video games and find somewhere to get busy,” she said.
Thrift Store manager and volunteer co-ordinator Angela Cavanah sees parent and child volunteers as a good fit for the Salvation Army.
“It’s a win/win situation where parents get to spend time with their child, the child learns good work ethics and it’s an excellent opportunity to give back to the community,” she said.
She added Lucy and Emily are excellent volunteers.
“It’s such a pleasure to have such an enthusiastic, happy pair of volunteers,” she said.
“They bring a great attitude and that’s contagious.”
Angela added volunteers are critical to keeping the doors open.
“The Salvation Army pours all its financial resources into services and programs,” she said.
“We depend on volunteers and are grateful for every hour people are willing to give us.”
Summer is particularly busy in the Thrift Store and also a popular vacation time. Angela said its a perfect chance
for young people to get volunteer experience even if its just an hour or two a week.
“I believe we have a volunteer job for anybody, regardless of their challenges,” she said.