CARITAS is proud to work closely with hundreds of volunteers who help our programs run effectively and compassionately. Volunteers not only help CARITAS increase its impact in the community, but they also inspire us. Each year, CARITAS honors a volunteer who has gone beyond his or her call of service with the Wally Stettinius Volunteer of the Year Award.
This year, we honored Lisa Decker at our annual Volunteer Appreciation event. Lisa helped launch and continues to manage the Gathered Goods Marketplace. This pop-up thrift shop has grown from a small monthly “yard sale” to a large, showroom ready thrift store open for business two to three times every month. The evolution of this innovative marketplace is important to CARITAS for a number of reasons.
Lisa Decker CARITAS receives a wide variety of donations to the Furniture Bank. The Furniture Bank helps families and individuals who are transitioning into a home after experiencing homelessness or another housing crisis by allowing them to easily obtain essential items they need for their new homes. Not all items donated to CARITAS are essential for these clients. Instead of disposing of them, Lisa helped CARITAS put those items to use and raise money for the organization’s programs at the same time.
Lisa often volunteers as many as 30 hours every week to make sure all items are priced, cleaned up and displayed in a creative and marketable way. To do this, Lisa works closely with AmeriCorps members, clients, and other volunteers showing them kindness, compassion, and encouragement. She lives our mission to restore dignity!
A few shared their thoughts about working with Lisa:
“What makes Lisa stand out is her commitment to the CARITAS mission. Working alongside Lisa is an honor. She is a joy to be around and she always has something funny to say.”
– Bilal, AmeriCorps member, The Healing Place Alumni
“Lisa is a very important person to CARITAS. She takes her time and effort to make the yard sale produce.”
– Barrett, AmeriCorps member
“She is caring, has a beautiful smile, makes sure all is well when help is needed or questions are asked.”
– Ossie, AmeriCorps member
Lisa recruits others to volunteer and is always connecting the community to the CARITAS mission.
The Volunteer of the Year Award is named after Wally Stettinius. Wally was an important Board member who led the strategic planning process to create the foundation for a successful expansion of CARITAS beyond its original mission of providing emergency shelter in the Richmond area. Today, CARITAS operates four programs that help our most vulnerable neighbors break the cycles of homelessness and addiction. As a thank you, CARITAS annually honors a group or individual that also demonstrates these attributes.