MRCI has many opportunities for you to be involved as an individual or as a group.
Currently more than 110 men and women regularly volunteer their time sorting, pricing, and selling donated items. We are always interested in people who want to contribute their time and talent to help us with our mission of enhancing the lives of people with disabilities.
If you are interested in joining our volunteer team please call the store at 507.386.5601 to set up an interview.
Hidden Gems at MRCI Thrift Shop
Volunteerism Spans Generations
Many 12 year olds go to the MRCI Thrift Shop to find that hidden treasure...whether it be a sweatshirt, some jewelry, or maybe decorations for their room or locker. But one 12 year old goes there for a different reason. Looking not for what she can get, but what she can give.
"I help bag the items, sort the movies and price the crafts!" says Payton Peterson. A sixth grader from St. Peter, Payton is herself a treasure, a true gem that helps MRCI's mission shine through in all she does.
"I get good vibes when I am here," she says. "I just think it's so good to help other people."
Payton first started volunteering at the MRCI Thrift Shop when she was 6 and tagged along with her grandma one day.
"All of the volunteers here just love having her around," says Payton's grandmother Kathy Lang. "She steps in to help wherever is needed."
Lang is a long-time MRCI Thrift Shop volunteer. The paraprofessional started volunteering at MRCI Thrift Shop 17 years ago. She spends a few days a week at the store. These days, she mostly handles the greeting cards.
"The people here are very inspiring," says Kathy. "Everyone is very kind and happy all the time. I knew Payton would love it here and they would love her."
Payton, whose hobbies include sewing, scrapbook, and baking...can't imagine not having volunteering in that mix as well.
"If my grandma didn't start bringing me here when I was little...well, I don't know what I would be doing today," smiles Payton. "I just like helping other people."
Lang hopes that she and Payton will have this service together for many more years to come.
"It's very rewarding," Kathy says. "I"ll keep doing it as long as I can."
It's volunteers like Payton and Kathy that are at the heart of the mission of the MRCI Thrift Shop in Mankato and Bargains in New Ulm. Both are volunteer-run retail businesses that accept donations of clothing and household items, then sells them to the public. All proceeds go to programs that support MRCI's mission of providing innovative and genuine opportunities for individuals with disabilities and disadvantages to participate in their communities.
But the financial impact is just one way the thrift shop supports MRCI, it also provides employment training opportunities for the organization's clients.
The MRCI Thrift Shop began in 1963 and currently more than 110 men, women and children regularly volunteer their time.
Additional volunteers and donations are always needed, please visit www.mrcithriftshop.org to learn how you can be a part of this impactful program.
Volunteer at Our Thrift Store
Volunteers are always welcome. Without them, the shop would be difficult to operate. We appreciate their unselfish commitment. To make volunteering more enjoyable, below are a few guidelines that provide relative information and to help volunteers understand their obligations.
1. As a volunteer, you have rights to respect, fairness, training, safety and choices in your work. Suggestions and concerns are welcome and should be communicated.
2. Volunteers may work in a variety of jobs. Most jobs require time commitments in four hour blocks. Commitment to time blocks is important and should be honored. A calendar in the lunch room records scheduled workers. If you must cancel, please try to find your own replacement or notify the manger promptly.
3. Our business depends on goodwill. Thrift Shop volunteers are MRCI ambassadors. Friendliness and assistance to customers and donors are very important.
4. The Thrift Shop manager/ assistant manager are resources when you have questions about procedures.