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NEW HOLLAND, Pa. — In the decade since the Share and Care first opened its doors, the volunteer-run operation has raised more than $240,000 to benefit the Garden Spot Village Benevolent Fund.
“Our sales for June of this year were $4,212.89,” said Deborah Fast, director of volunteer services. “Considering that many of those sales are one and two dollars, that really represents a lot of work and a lot of purchases.”
The Share and Care Shop carries a wide range of housewares, dishes and other serve ware, decorative items and furniture. Residents and members of the surrounding community donate items they no longer need, and volunteers prepare them for resale. It’s a win-win recycling project that provides a source of affordable household items and raises funds for a worthy cause.
“It’s about restoring and re-purposing things, which I find really exciting,” Fast says. “The volunteers do a lot of cleaning and refurbishing, and our woodshop fixes furniture items. I always say, if you need to know how to clean something, ask the Share and Care volunteers.”
The Share and Care Shop is run by about 48 volunteers. Fast meets weekly with the team of volunteer managers, who do all processing and pricing of donations and coordinate the store. The majority of volunteers staff the store, serving two-hour shifts each day.
Several volunteers have worked at the Share and Care Shop for years. Doris Baumbach, one of the founding volunteers, serves as a key member of the management team. For special occasions, like Easter, she makes homemade jams and gift baskets tostock the shop.
With donated inventory and a volunteer staff, the Share and Care Shop donates 100 percent of its proceeds to the Benevolent Fund, which helps support residents who need financial assistance. Since the 2007 fiscal year, the cost for benevolent care has risen from $364,000 to approximately $1.9 million annually. To pay for this care, Garden Spot Village relies on contributions from individual and corporate donors and fundraising events and activities.
The Share and Care Shop is located on the lower level of the Village Square at Garden Spot Village, 433 S. Kinzer Ave., New Holland. It is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call the volunteer office at 717-355-6204.