Our injured workers impact communities coast-to-coast through our Transition2Work program. This innovative return-to-work solution allows participants to heal from their work-related injury while helping their community’s local not-for-profit, keeping them in the workforce and providing invaluable assistance to local philanthropic goals.

One of the many not-for-profits we work with is Roy Maas Youth Alternatives (RMYA) in San Antonio, Texas.

RMYA assists children in crisis situations by providing them sanctuary from cruelty, abuse, and neglect. RMYA recognizes that safety, security, and non-violence are foundational to rebuilding a child’s trust and future. RMYA has been helping children in crisis thrive since 1976 and cares for over 100 children every day.

To learn more about the wonderful work RMYA does in San Antonio, we spoke to Kaz Sephton, Thrift Shop Manager, who began with a quote:

“…And it’s only the giving that makes you what you are.”

-Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull

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

RMYA creates brighter futures for children in crisis by promoting individual success and healthy relationships in a safe, healing environment, giving children and families the tools to end the cycle of abuse.

Our Thrift Shop is the only revenue generating department!

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

We enjoy volunteers from ReEmployAbility in the shop to give us a hand! We have a 12000 sq. ft. shop in a low-income neighborhood and we do not get many volunteers here, with the exception of Community Service workers, so having some quality assistance has been super.

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

I think it is helpful for volunteers recovering gently from a work injury that they do something that helps them give back AND get better! It is a double rainbow for everyone involved.

Because there are so many different things to do here, they can choose something that suits their own knowledge and expertise. We have many needs around the store such as greeting guests, cleaning counter-tops and dusting, returning clothes to racks, helping intake donations, or even just polishing furniture so it looks nicer to customers. We even have volunteers who have created displays using the items from the store.

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

People should know that we take in children who have suffered sexual and/or violent abuse or abandonment. Working here and helping us keep the shop clean and in good order improves sales and directly benefits the kids in our care next door at the emergency shelter called The Bridge.

Besides The Bridge, we also have Meadowlands, Turning Point, Centro Seguro and La Puerta, which officially opened January 30!

And Centro Seguro is the first drop in shelter for victims of sex trafficking in Texas:

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

Volunteers in the area may come to the store and fill out an application to spend some hours here, or at one of our other programs.

Donors can donate here, and help us help the children in our care, from afar: https://rmya.org/about-rmya/support-us/

Please visit our website if you would like to donate or join our “Circle of Hope.” Just $25 provides all the essential hygiene items for two children in our care (soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush & toothpaste, brush or comb, and flip flops). We also have an ongoing “wish list” for children in our care that can be found here.