For nearly 25 years, volunteer Shirley Stubben has tackled project after project for Seattle Goodwill, approaching every job with a work ethic that’s become legendary.
Shirley first discovered Goodwill volunteering in 1990 through a former employer. Her first Goodwill volunteer position was with Glitter Sale, where she thrived on the busy atmosphere. Shirley soon became known for her ability to gather fellow employees and put together teams to support Goodwill.
Shirley retired in 2009 after a 20 year career in the financial industry, and began to volunteer full-time for nonprofit organizations, including contributing 10-12 hours of time per month to Goodwill.
One of her other volunteer experiences, as an English as a Second Language tutor, shaped her perspective on Goodwill. “I grew to better understand the struggles that a lot of people have as new arrivals to this country – including learning a new language, finding jobs, and providing for their families. Goodwill is amazing in what they offer, including opportunities to learn job skills and job training. They truly help people find their way, including immigrants and people escaping homelessness or domestic violence.”
For Shirley, her belief in Goodwill’s mission has led her to contribute her talents and skills in a wealth of ways, including:
- Organizing hundreds of pieces of fragile antique clothing as part of a small group that catalogued Goodwill’s Vintage Fashion Collection
- Supporting the extremely busy Glitter Sale jewelry counter for more than 20 years
- Helping run the Silent Auction at the Glitter Gala
- Bringing together “Team Shirley,” a group of volunteers and friends who have assisted with countless mailings and other time-sensitive projects for Seattle Goodwill’s support services departments
- Patiently teaching cashiering skills as an Instructor’s Aide of Goodwill’s Cashiering class in Burien
Tiffany Hatch, Operations Coordinator for Goodwill, speaks warmly about Shirley’s contributions to the Glitter Sale. “Shirley always remains calm and provides the best personal shopping experience at the Glitter Sale jewelry counter, even in a very demanding environment.”
The feeling is mutual, with Shirley describing Goodwill’s staff as “amazing, committed and dedicated.” Volunteering is also a source of lasting friendships for her, among both the members of “Team Shirley” and with fellow volunteers that she sees each year at the Glitter Sale.
What are Shirley’s words of advice for others considering volunteering? “Time is easy to give and so appreciated by nonprofit organizations like Goodwill - and it makes you feel good!”