ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work participants benefit not-for-profits across the country while in the Transition2Work program. Participants are able to heal from their work-related injury while helping their community’s local not-for-profit – a true win-win!

Many of the not-for-profits we work with help their community and also send aid around the world for various causes. The Fort White Community Thrift Shop (FWCTS) is a small thrift shop in a town with a population of 570, but their work has a global reach and Transition2Work participants at this not-for-profit are connected to a larger purpose.

We spoke to Board Chairman, Mike Brecheen, to learn about the Fort White Community Thrift Shop and the work it does and how Transition2Work participants impact their mission.

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

Our organization, Fort White Community Thrift Shop,Inc. is a state registered 501C(3) Charitable Organization, which has as it’s primary goals the following:

  1. Serving our God, by serving the people in the community of Fort White, Florida.
  2. Supporting other worthwhile entities that serve people in ways that we cannot serve.
  3. Encouraging a true spirit of community by giving those who are willing, an opportunity to give of themselves, by volunteering to help us in our mission.
  4. Responding as God enables us to needs that arise all over the nation and around the world with food, clothing and other necessities.

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

Our experience with your organization, ReEmployAbility, has been absolutely wonderful and a real game changer for us. We’re thrilled that you found us, and the injured worker you sent us most recently, Walter W., has been a great blessing to us and a real asset to our community. Although we are glad for him to be recovering and able to reenter the work force at a better rate of pay, we are truly going to miss him and the contributions he has made to FWCTS.

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

In my humble opinion, the injured worker can benefit from your T2W program or volunteering in several ways. They can develop meaningful, mutually supportive relationships that will last a lifetime and know that they are making a positive, powerful difference in their world by giving their time, effort, and energy through a credible organization.

They can also develop skill sets that they may never have known they possessed had they not come to work alongside us. They may also experience an inner healing through their interaction with others in a setting that gets them out of the house, and maybe some of the boxes that life traps us in from time to time.

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

The most important message I  would like to relay to anyone about our organization is that we desperately need volunteers on an ongoing basis in order to fulfill what we believe to be a calling.  Most of our volunteers are older folks, and we see the needs increasing much faster than the number of people who are willing to volunteer on a consistent basis.  So, if you’re looking for a way to make a difference in your world, please come check us out, and see for yourself, if this just might be where you belong.

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

The best way to get on board as a volunteer is to call the shop at (386) 497-1578 and let us know of your interest.  We’d love to make your acquaintance, and we will be happy to give you directions to our shop. The best time to catch us there is Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 to 3:00.