Sweeping, scrubbing and shopping for a great cause

By United Way of King County, on October 15, 2014 | In Emerging Leaders 365, Volunteering

Jordan McKerneyGuest blogger Jordan McKerney is the Senior Communications Specialist at MulvannyG2 Architecture, where she focuses on internal and external communications and brand initiatives. Jordan also volunteers at United Way on the Emerging Leader marketing committee.

I’ll admit it: I am a die-hard thrift shopper. There’s nothing I love more than the thrill of the hunt in a thrift store – finding unique treasures for a great deal. The ReStyle for Ryther Thrift Store in Ballard is one of my favorites, and I recently had the chance to support the store with more than just my shopping habit.

Last weekend, we kicked off the first of our United Way Emerging Leaders Second Saturday volunteering projects at the ReStyle for Ryther Thrift Store. With an awesome group of Emerging Leaders, we spent the morning sweeping, scrubbing, dusting and organizing to make the shop shine (and okay fine, I bought something too!). It was a lot of fun to meet new people and give back on a Saturday morning, but the experience was really made meaningful by learning more about the work Ryther does in our community.

The all-volunteer-run ReStyle for Ryther Thrift Store has been operated by the Ryther League for nearly 40 years. The store proceeds benefit Ryther, a leading provider of behavioral health services for children and their families experiencing neglect, mental illness or abuse. Every year with the funds that United Way gives Ryther, they are able to help:

  • 100 people with mental illness, substance abuse or chemical dependency to improve their functioning.
  • 300 kids who are physically abused, neglected or in imminent danger of being hurt by giving them a safe place to live.
  • 800 children, teens and young adults with emotional or behavioral disturbances by teaching them coping skills.

We left the store with every vase gleaming, every shirt straightened and every book stacked neatly. I think we all left hoping that our efforts would entice new customers to discover the store and contribute to Ryther’s important work in our community. Because if there is one thing better than shopping, it’s shopping for a cause.

If you are a young professional looking for a way to get involved and give back, be sure to check out our next Emerging Leaders second Saturday volunteering project in November or December!


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