40 for 40: Lynn Spencer’s Story

First, thank you so much for your efforts to recognize Capital Caring’s volunteers. It means a lot to have that recognition come from the Corporate office, as that sends the message that you and the Capital Caring organization appreciate what we do.

After I retired (July 2011), I decided that I wanted to give back to the organization that had helped me so much during a most difficult time for me–when my husband was at the end of his life, back in April 2001. My son was 13 and my daughter was 11 when he passed away. I credit Capital Caring for helping me get through this challenging period in my life. The hospice nurse and social worker assigned to our family provided exemplary attentive care and were always there when we needed them. Moments after my husband passed, I called the nurse and after what seemed like only minutes, they were at my front door. Since we were not members of any religious institution, I was relieved that the Capital Caring clergy was available to conduct a memorial service for my husband.

I met with the Volunteer Coordinator to hear about what my volunteer options would be. I was surprised to learn that Capital Caring operated two thrift stores. It sounded like a perfect fit for me, since I always wondered what it would be like to work in retail. After my training in January of 2012, I became a volunteer at the Thrift Store Boutique, where I have worked for over six years. Fortunately, I was paired with a wonderful partner and soon I became eager for my Wednesday afternoon stints at the shop. At the shop, I have the opportunity to use my foreign language skills. I have enjoyed speaking to our wonderful customers in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian. Over the years, I have gotten to know some of them and enjoy seeing them on a regular basis. I am pleased to know that the money generated from our sales at the thrift shops makes such a substantial contribution to providing the services that are so desperately needed in ensuring good care to those at the end of their lives. That this has been accomplished with the help of one paid manager and a crew of volunteers is nothing short of astonishing! Your acknowledgment of our efforts is appreciated more than you might realize.

Although I have not worked since the recent fire, I am hoping to hear soon that I will be needed.

Sincerely, Lynn Spencer

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