Our mission comes alive in the community every day because of dedicated individuals who serve at Mission 27. They are the hands, feet and faces of Mission 27—and they carry our purpose in their hearts. We’re grateful for every time we get to interact with them, and we think you’ll enjoy “meeting” them, too. In this blog, we introduce you to Jeff Blackwell, one of Mission 27’s most stalwart volunteers.
How did you come to volunteer with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Mission 27?
After I retired I had some time on my hands and I was looking for a way to stay active and engaged. I met with a neighbor, Pat Jerell, who served with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and he put me to work by noon that day. I wanted to be plugged in wherever they needed me most. I’ve served in various capacities as I’ve volunteered for the organization for more than 10 years and served as the voluntary executive director for just over three years.
What’s your favorite part about volunteering with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Mission 27?
From the first time I visited, I watched how the people interacted, and I was so impressed with how they treated each other and those they were serving. When a volunteer greeted someone who was down and out with a smile and a hug it truly touched me. My fellow volunteers inspire me. Even as we’ve transitioned to having some paid employees on staff working alongside us, our volunteers have continued to serve with no complaints.
What’s one of the most unique or memorable items you’ve seen come through the store? Or, something interesting you can share from your volunteer experiences?
One morning we came in and someone had dumped a load of stuff at the loading dock that truly belonged in a landfill—it was disgusting. But without any complaints our team of volunteers grabbed shovels and brooms to pitch in and get it cleaned up. I recall one of the volunteers laughably saying that they were surprised they didn’t even ask for a receipt. The attitude and spirit of our volunteers is heartwarming.
How do the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Mission 27 impact the community?
We serve those who are in need and offer programs like Changing Lives Forever to address generational poverty. Our volunteers have an unwavering good attitude and spirit.
Why do you think people should donate to and/or support the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Mission 27 Resale?
In addition to supporting a good cause, Mission 27 Resale is a cut above most thrift stores. You could say it’s got “sparkle.” The assistant manager loves to do display work and does a really nice job.