National Volunteer Appreciation Week: Why You Should Start Volunteering

National Volunteer Appreciation Week: Why You Should Start Volunteering

by Sofi Cisneros


Current Shop Repurpose volunteer Barbara Nevis knew she didn’t want to return to a nine to five job. As a furniture industry veteran, she desired time off and a meaningful way of giving back to her community. When she learned about Shop Repurpose’s mission after paying a visit to our Soho storefront, she knew she had to get involved.  

“When people come in and I tell them the story about the store – we’re a non-profit, all the net proceeds go to charity – it brings a smile to everyone’s faces. Everyone loves our initiative,” said Nevis. “It makes me very, very happy to be part of that.” 

Volunteering plays a significant role in the upkeep of charitable organizations, such as Shop Repurpose, nationwide. An estimated 23.2 percent of Americans, or over 60.7 million people, formally volunteered with an organization between 2020 and 2021. Though these numbers revealed a slight drop amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact remains that millions of Americans like Nevis express a genuine desire to give back to their communities and engage in social good. 

As the country celebrates National Volunteer Week from April 16 to 22, charitable organizations like Repurpose raise awareness of their volunteers’ benevolent efforts to transform lives and uplift their communities. Through the resale of luxury clothing and goods, Repurpose’s volunteers aid in raising funds that support the health and wellbeing of women and families, empower individuals through mentorship and workforce opportunities, and provide conscious-minded communities to contribute to a more sustainable world.

Today, we take the time to commemorate this week of generosity by pinpointing reasons why everyone should volunteer and by spotlighting a few of our own selfless volunteers who embody the ethos of our mission. 


Top 5 reasons why everyone should volunteer


1.  Volunteering transforms individual lives, communities, and the world. 

Volunteering allows you to make a positive impact on your community and the world. Whether you’re volunteering at a food bank, animal shelter, environmental organization, or luxury clothing and goods store such as Repurpose, you’re ultimately transforming individual lives for the better and giving back to those who need it most, including our environment. 

For marketing volunteer and mentor Juana Soto, Repurpose allowed her to combine her expansive knowledge of marketing with her passion for spreading awareness of fast fashion’s negative impacts on the environment, all while juggling her recent move to New York. 

“It has been very good for me to work in something familiar in this whole changing process that I am in," said Soto. "The mission of Shop Repurpose is not expecting anything more than creating a positive change in the world and for the people that work here, so that’s amazing."


2.  Promotes personal development 

Volunteering can help you develop new skills, gain experience, and learn about different cultures or communities. It can also help you build self-confidence and improve your communication and teamwork skills in a safe and welcoming environment. 

Holly Liu, a Repurpose marketing intern, appreciated Repurpose’s welcoming environment as a young college student just beginning her professional journey while taking a gap year. 

“I applied to other places where they either require you to have a degree in marketing or they want you to have previous experience,” said Liu. “I scheduled an interview with Shop Repurpose and they explained how they were really welcoming everyone to join. So I was like ‘Oh, that’d be great!’ and that’s how I started here.” 


3.  Creates more social connections.

Volunteering provides an opportunity to meet new people who share similar interests and values as you. Through an organization’s shared mission, you can build meaningful connections and form lasting friendships with other volunteers as well as the people you’re helping. 

“Being able to help people with some of their choices in the store, and meeting the fabulous interns and everything they do, you learn and connect with people from a lot of backgrounds that are different from mine growing up here in New York City,” said Nevis. “It’s always easy for me to connect with people, so it [volunteering] gives me a nice opportunity to do that.”


4.  Increases career benefits.

Volunteering can be a valuable addition to your resume, showing potential employers that you have a strong work ethic, good communication skills, and a commitment to community service. It can also provide opportunities to network, expand your web of professional relationships, and explore your true career passions without the pressures of a traditional job.

Liu expressed her gratitude for volunteer opportunities such as Shop Repurpose in helping younger volunteers achieve their ultimate career goals. 

“For younger people, especially at beginning levels, there are limits to abilities that you can provide, so volunteering is a really great way for you to take action and practice this stuff to better prepare you for the future,” said Liu. 


Soto expressed the same sentiment. After her move to New York, she found solace in volunteering with Shop Repurpose during this significant transition in her life, and sees Repurpose as the perfect opportunity to comfortably build her network of professional relationships and jumpstart her career in a completely new, buzzing city. 

“Moving to New York represents a lot of changes and a lot of things that you have to consider as a very fast paced place,” said Soto. “To find something that I liked and that I’m passionate about, but at the same time was familiar with in this whole ambiguous situation that I started to see when I moved to New York, was a relief.”


5.  Stimulates personal satisfaction. 

Volunteering can give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment that comes from making a positive impact on the lives of those you serve. By giving back, you can feel more connected to your community and the world around you, and provide a sense of gratitude for the things you have.  

“There’s so much need out there,” said Nevis. “If you could just get outside yourself for five minutes and do something for someone else, it just a) gives you a really good feeling and b) it’s really appreciative.”

“Volunteering is a great way to give back and to recognize that we feel blessed for all the things we have,” added Soto. “You’re not winning something physically, but personally, you’re winning a lot.” 

As a volunteer at Shop Repurpose, you’ll be able to practice these socially good habits and more. Click here to find out how you can get involved in our mission and work alongside our valued team of volunteers.

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