At Vinnies we love our hard working volunteers! Twenty year old Emily has an intellectual disability and volunteers at our Aro Valley shop. She is a great example of how volunteering benefits the individual as well as Vinnies.
Shop Manager, Heather, says that Emily has been working at the shop for two years, and in that time she has become a valued member of the team. “Emily is always so happy when she comes into the shop to work on a Friday. When she first started she struggled with some tasks, but she is very keen to learn, and now helps to sort the clothes by size and loves dressing the models!”.
We spoke to Emily’s parents, who have seen a change in her since she started volunteering. “Emily really enjoys going to work. Volunteering at the shop means that she has a job, the same as her friends and family, which helps her to feel included.
It has helped to her to transition when she finished school, and we are all very grateful to Heather for time she spends with Emily, helping her to develop her skills.”
Volunteering at Aro Valley has also improved Emily’s interaction with her friends and family and widened her social network, as she is always asking people for donations to take to work with her!
“She encourages all of us to regularly check our belongings and give items we no longer use to Vinnies. She is currently waiting for one of our caregivers to tell her four brothers to tidy their rooms as there aren’t many men’s clothes available for sale. If Emily doesn’t have a bag of things to bring on Friday she seems a bit lost and we have had to stop her from taking shoes out of Dad’s wardrobe or clothes from the dressing table!”.
Thanks to Emily for being such a fantastic member of the Vinnies team! If you would like to volunteer with Vinnies, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org