Serving Family Style

Buck and Evelyn and Sonny and Charlotte and Pam volunteer in the linen department at the Thrift Store every Tuesday and Thursday morning.  They are known around the Mission as the, ‘Linen Ladies,’ including Mr. Buck and Mr. Sonny.  “It has a nice ring to it,” laughed Buck. The linen ladies have been volunteering in the thrift store for eight consecutive years. Here is how it began…

            The thrift store opened its present location on Dec 5, 2000.  Volunteer Charlotte helped set the store up.  She organized, sorted, and prepared merchandise in the back of the store.  She arranged displays and stocked clothes, shoes, books, linens, art, bric-a-bracs, and electronics in the front of the store.  After the store opened, Charlotte started volunteering in the linen department, along with her brother’s sister-in-law Pam.  Then, Charlotte recruited her husband Sonny as well as her brother Buck. Well, Buck brought along his wife Evelyn and his sister-in-law Betty.  They’re all in Buck’s family. They serve family style by coming together every Tuesdays and Thursdays to process the linens.  Buck, Evelyn, Charlotte, Sonny, and Pam come in shifts, some in the mornings and some in the evenings.

            These volunteers inspect all of the linens—tablecloths, pillowcases, sheets, curtains, placemats, and all.  First, they inspect the materials to ensure there are no stains or tears. Then they sort them into the appropriated piles: nice or ragged.  They set apart any vintage items that would be retailed at Art on a Mission.  Those items go onto Virginia Bowyer, a Rescue Mission volunteer at Art on a Mission. She washes, irons, and repairs the delicate materials and has a miracle touch for stain removal.  Buck, Evelyn, Sonny, Pam, and Charlotte fold, label, and hang the fine linens, ready to retail at the Rescue Mission Thrift Store.

            “It helps the Mission. We can give back to the community because we’ve been blessed,” Charlotte concludes. Sonny leans over and adds, “Keeps me out of trouble.” Then Charlotte says, “Working is enjoyable because of the people.”  Volunteering side by side, the ‘Linen Ladies’ serve at the Rescue Mission of Roanoke family style.  

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