Volunteering in Carlow: Jack & Jill Shop
Located on Dublin Street, Carlow town, the Jack & Jill Foundation Charity Shop is one of Carlow's more recent charity shop additions. The shop is associated with the national Jack & Jill Children's Foundation charity, which many may be familar with from their mobile phone campaign collections from previous years.
"The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation provides direct funding, to families of children with brain damage up to the age of 4 who suffer severe intellectual and physical developmental delay, enabling them to purchase home respite care. We also provide end of life care to all children up to the age of 4 years.
These are children who as a result of their condition require intensive home nursing care.The Foundation gives these families the Gift of Time, time to do the things that we so often take for granted like shopping, taking their other children to the park, a night’s sleep etc." - Jackandjill.ie
We recently had the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Volunteer Co-Ordinator of Carlow's Jack & Jill shop; Grainne Morris, who shared her enthusiasm for the cause, as well as sharing the importance of volunteers to the smooth running of her shop.
Likening the shop to "an Aladdin's cave of treasures", Grainne expresses her gratitude to the people of Carlow for being so generous with their donations, and purchases. Divided into various zones, the shop sells everything from clothes and furniture, to books and toys.
Currently co-ordinating ten volunteers, Grainne tells us how important it is to create an environment where people are enthusiastic to come and volunteer. From consistent gratitude and grateful and hugs, as well as listening to and implementing ideas they have, Grainne explains that to her, "volunteers are gold'. When people chose to give their time, they don't want to work in an environment where their ideas are not respected or where there are constant problems. They are not getting paid to be there, so it is important for them to thoroughly enjoy the experience.
Grainne also feels it is of importance to teach all new volunteers the basics. People volunteer with her from all different backgrounds and levels of retail experience. She teaches retail from the ground up. Everything from sorting, merchandising and customer queries. She assures that everyone deserves a chance, and does offer trial shifts for people that feel they may be interested in committing some time volunteering.
Retail is a fast-paced environment, and being in a charity shop, every day is unpredictable. With constantly chaging stock, and weather, volunteers learn to adapt to various situations. Grainne's sister Pauline Hayden is also on hand every few weeks to redesign the window displays which Grainnne says is a big assett, expressing that the window displays always reflect the mood, or season. Grainne also uses Facebook as a means of promoting sales within the shop. Sharing various sales and offers and her favourite "Bargain of the Week".
With the shop's official launch, and the launch of her Bridal section just around the corner, Grainne encourages anyone interested in volunteering in the Jack & Jill Charity Shop to get in contact. They also welcome any donations no matter how big or small. Even if items do not get sold on the shop floor, they are still able to make money from recycling. Nothing goes to waste.
Jack & Jill Charity Shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am - 5pm.
If you would like to learn more about volunteering in Carlow, in Jack & Jill charity shop or indeed in any of the other sectors, we would greatly encourage you to pick up the phone and give us a call on 059 9173033 and we can arrange a meeting to help you find the perfect volunteer opportunity for you. You can also find us on Twitter: @VolunteerCarlow and Facebook: Carlow Volunteer Centre where you can keep up to date with all our latest opportunities, events and general happenings in Carlow.