Injured workers in our Transition2Work program impact over 35,000 different not-for-profits around the country. As they heal from their work-related injury, program participants benefit from maintaining a schedule and avoiding ‘disability syndrome’ while the not-for-profit benefits from having a regularly scheduled volunteer.

Transition2Work has proven to be an innovative return-to-work solution connecting employers, employees, and communities so all can have a better life. Just one of the many not-for-profits we work with is Crowded Closet Thrift Shop in Iowa City, Iowa.

We spoke to Volunteer Coordinator Christine Beachy to learn how Transition2Work participants impact her community.

Briefly describe your organization’s goals for the community you serve.

Crowded Closet Thrift Shop sells gently used clothing and household items from local donors to raise money for global relief, development & peace.

Our mission is to share God’s love and compassion in the name of Christ by supporting Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) world relief, service and development programs, as well as local community relief agencies. All the profits of the Crowded Closet go to support these relief and service organizations.

​The thrift shop sells donated goods: clothing for men, women and children, housewares, furniture, toys, books and antiques. The gift shop sells handcrafted items from around the world, purchased from fair trade organizations.

How has your experience been with ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work participants?

Our experience with participants has been great! One particular participant, Ed, is a valued part of our team! He is reliable, flexible, hard working and cheerful in his service. I don’t know where we would be without Ed’s commitment to service, kind heart, and constant cooperation.

When Ed arrived to Crowded Closet Thrift Shop, we were embarking on shop relocation. He helped to hold our retail operations together by filling in all the gaps. Once in the new facility, he helped to create one of the new processing areas. He is now a leader in that area who welcomes and trains new volunteers. Ed is consistently reliable, and constantly positive. He demonstrates flexibility and resilience in a rapidly changing work environment, and a heart for others. We are thankful for who he is, and everything he does.

In your opinion, how does the injured worker benefit from participating in T2W or volunteering in their community?

Ed’s service has created a strong positive impact at our shop. His leadership as a volunteer has improved our operations at a time when our shop was experiencing rapid growth. The opportunity gave him a safe, accessible way to contribute greatly in the community as he recovers.

What is the most important message that you would like to relay to the readers about your organization?

Everyone belongs at Crowded Closet. There are roles for all interests, ability levels, and schedules. Service at Crowded Closet is a great way to get to know the community and serve in a meaningful way.

What is the best way readers can sign up to volunteer?

Contact Christine, Volunteer Coordinator, today to tour the shop and learn more: 319.337.5924 or