Sixteen Years Of Caring From The Heart

Carol and Susan are two of our most dedicated volunteers. 

They’ve been helping us sort clothing since we had a thrift store open to the public 16 years ago. “When we were open all those years, you really got to know the people in the community,” says Susan. 

At one point, soap was hard to come by. So they just started bringing in soap themselves. One man was so moved by this he wrote thank you notes to them. “Thanking us for something so simple, that we take for granted,” explains Susan. 

Now they come in biweekly, helping sort through piles of goods so we can get the right item to the right person. Some of the donated items they find are special treasures. They’ve found mink coats and Louis Vuitton purses that they sell to donate the profits back to Water Street. 

While most clothing donations are no longer accepted at Water Street, the key items we do keep on campus, like underwear, basic white tees, and warm winter coats really make life better for our guests. That’s what Susan and Carol mainly sort through now. 

Over the past 16 years they’ve sorted all kinds of “stuff” and seen a lot that has changed their perspective. They see so much generosity in the hearts of those who remember Water Street and are moved to give to us. But they have also noticed how many of us in Lancaster acquire more than we really need. “When you see the abundance of donations, just bags and bags of stuff,” Carol says nodding her head, “Americans are wealthy beyond belief. And then there’s people who are struggling just to keep clothing on their backs. It’s just a huge dichotomy.” 

Thank you to our faithful volunteers like Susan and Carol for helping to keep our mission running smoothly each day!