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Happy February!   You may be noticing that changes are happening in many aspects of our operations.  As we head into 2024 I want to do my best to communicate to our valued team members how our business has changed dramatically.

During 2019, volunteers contributed over 120,000 hours of time.  We were able to contribute $1,000,000 to MCC from that year’s results.  In 2023, our volunteer hours were 79,500, 1,000 hours higher than 2022.  While volunteer hours have increased post-COVID, the gap between 2019 and 2023 hours (40,000) remains daunting! To keep operating, we have needed to expand our paid staff by over 40 additional employees compared to 2019.  We currently employ 82 full, part-time and seasonal employees.

Some important considerations:

  1. The community’s support through donations increased drastically during the pandemic and has remained consistently higher than before 2020.  This is our lifeblood, we are very grateful for this.  It allows us to grow.
  2. Filling staff openings is a challenge. We have raised our hourly pay and offer a very competitive benefit package. It’s not uncommon that we go through the many steps of hiring someone and they take a job elsewhere.
  3. Retaining talented staff is a high priority.  We need to keep our team challenged and growing (CLICK HERE).  Moving managers to different departments allows them to try out new ideas, increases motivation, and promotes growth in leadership. It also brings new opportunities for the departments to grow.
  4. Costs have gone up with our lease, insurance, supplies,  trash, and other utilities.
  5. We have outgrown our setup. Unlike other “big box thrift stores”, we are running 5 individual stores with individual workrooms, individual cash hubs, etc., resulting in the duplication of similar efforts.  This was less of an issue when we had 120,000 hours of volunteer time, but now we are filling many of those needs with paid staff.
  6. The support we treasured from local faith communities has diminished since Covid. Many of the women who organized these service groups retired.  We know attendance at churches has also dwindled in some congregations.

How do these considerations affect Care & Share?  In developing the budget plan for 2024, it became evident that a deep focus on growing our sales is a key priority.  We receive so many wonderful items, we need to get them on the sales floor and sold!  The 2024 budget calls for a sales increase of 10%.  This is the largest sales increase we have ever faced. Even with this larger goal, our donation to MCC is planned for under $50,000. This may be surprising to you.  I am communicating it to you so you are aware just how tight our budget is. 

For success in 2024, we know that we need to remain focused and dedicated to the mission and vision of Care & Share.  This means that sometimes we need to make difficult decisions or follow paths that may not align with ways things were done in the past.  We value your grace and support as we move forward.

How can you as a volunteer support the work of Care & Share?

1. Invite a friend or family member to volunteer.  This is the number one way to volunteer recruitment. In last week's newsletter (2/5/24 - CLICK HERE) we heard from Eunice who returned to volunteering after retirement.  Who can you invite to serve with you?

2. Customer service is paramount.  

When comments by staff or volunteers made on the sales floor are unprofessional, or concern complaints about staff or other volunteers, customers will post these comments on the internet.  This hurts our organization.  In the last week alone, we have had several negative phone calls and internet posts!  If you have a concern, please ask to speak to your manager or Maggie privately.  If a customer has a question you are unsure about, find a paid staff person for the answer.

Kindness matters - please read last week's article (CLICK HERE). Refrain from making comments about parenting styles!  Please do not remark if customers use a credit card for a minor purchase!  Customers have said, “The word “care” is in the title - why are the volunteers cranky with me?” If you are having a bad day, it’s fine to say you prefer to serve in a workroom.

3. Help us reconnect with your faith community.  How can we reengage a monthly service day?

4. Our goal for 2024 is to raise our volunteer hours by 10,000, which works out to about 50 volunteers serving 4 hours a week. Is there a friend or family member that would benefit from ‘getting out of the house’?  Perhaps you will consider increasing your hours, even by adding a second department?  Please contact Maggie. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Care & Share mission was set to not only support MCC, it was also to support our local community.  The very first sale was to a father and his children from our local community who had no warm clothes.  The sale happened before the shoppe even opened.  The need to serve our community has always been here, and I know that drives many of our volunteers.  In 2023, we have given over $24,000 in donations and gift cards to those in need, here in our community.  Your time here makes that possible.  

For almost 50 years, Care & Share Shoppes has been known as a premier destination, thanks in large part to the dedication and support of our volunteers.  To say the leadership of Care & Share values your commitment is an understatement. We are grateful for your service to our organization.

Don Rosenberger, Operations Manager, and I welcome your questions. We want to set Care & Share on a course to continue serving others for another 50 years.  We value your trust and support as we move into 2024.

A final thought, Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, "' With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" Let's remind ourselves that with God, the next 50 years are indeed possible! Let's keep our focus on Christ's direction of "Caring & Sharing" with others.  

Sarah Bergin, Executive Director

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    ABC’s Action News, out of the Philadelphia market, visited Care & Share!  They filmed in several of our shoppes and stopped and shopped in each of them!  They were especially interested in our volunteer workforce, and the commitment to the mission of our organization. 

    CLICK HERE to learn more and watch the segment!

  • We recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially launch our newly relocated Welcome Center.  Located in the middle of the Souderton Shopping Center, the new location is easily accessed by potential and curent volunteers. CLICK HERE to read more!

  • Shop Care & Share 24/7 - download our Auction App! The Auction App gives customers the opportunity to determine the product price by bidding on selected merchandise.

    For Android CLICK HERE

    For Apple CLICK HERE

    Search for "Care and Share Thrift Auction"

     

  • Interest in volunteering?  Reach out and let our Volunteer Manager Maggie know which 1-hour orientation you would like to attend!  We look forward to meeting you!
     
     
    Not ready to sign up for an Orientation?  Try us out at one of our monthly Volunteer Happy Hours - held on the final Tuesday of each month.
    Ready to sign up to become a volunteer? Apply now on our website!
     
             
  • Share your love of Care & Share with others by posting a Google Review!  Each month, we will place names of those who left a review in a hat.  We will pick one winner for a $50 local restaurant gift card! CLICK HERE to leave your review.

    If something is amiss, we ask that you reach out to us first, before posting a negative review. We want to address any issues directly with disenchanted customers. Send us an email - CLICK HERE with your name, the challenge, and your phone number so we can connect with you. 

    We have learned after 49 years in business, that the best type of advertising is "word of mouth".  Thank you for your help in promoting Care & Share. 

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    Care & Share Thrift Shoppes is now a Certified Autism Center™, designated by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). To earn the designation, staff have completed autism training and certification in order to better understand and work with autistic visitors and supporters.

    “At Care & Share, we are glad you are our neighbor! We want to be at our best to welcome you to shop, donate and volunteer," said Sarah Bergin, Executive Director. "After going through the certification process, our staff is now prepared with the knowledge that customers, donors, and volunteers are all differently abled. By welcoming everyone, our organization is stronger.”

    In addition to a vibrant volunteer program, Care & Share also works with over 35 organizations as volunteers fine-tune skills in areas like receiving and processing donations, customer service, and social skills. The Shoppes accommodate weekly to daily volunteer opportunities for individuals of all different abilities.

    “IBCCES is excited to announce the designation of Care & Share Thrift Shoppes to show that organizations of all types can benefit from training and certification to enhance the customer and community experience,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.

     
  • Donation Hours remain the same:  Mon - Sat:  10AM - 5PM

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  • Friday, March 29, 2024:

    Shop:  9AM - 5PM

    Donate: 10AM - 5PM

    Have a blessed Easter Season!

Care & Share Thrift Shoppe is eager to hear from you! If you have any questions please do get in touch:

HOURS

SHOPPING

Mon: 9AM  -  5PM

Tue:  9AM - 7PM

Wed: 9AM - 5PM

Thu: 9AM - 5PM

Fri:  9AM - 7PM

Sat:  9AM - 5PM

Sun: Closed

DONATING

Mon - Sat:  10AM - 5PM

Sunday: Closed