“It’s fun volunteering with your significant other for a cause you both believe in.”
That’s how Hoa and Joe Pantastico describe the experience of giving their time to Seattle Goodwill. The couple’s volunteer history at Goodwill events began with Hoa.
As a student at Seattle Pacific University (SPU), Hoa learned about a volunteer opportunity at Goodwill and soon discovered that she loved volunteering for the organization’s major events. Soon after she and Joe married in September of 2014, Hoa was back for another Goodwill volunteering opportunity. This time, she brought Joe with her to experience the energy and excitement of the Glitter Sale.
Sharing the volunteer experience
“Part of being married is getting to know each other’s worlds, and it was great to bring Joe into the Goodwill volunteer experience,” Hoa says.
Hoa first volunteered as a personal shopper at the annual Glitter Sale’s extremely popular jewelry counter. She enjoyed providing each customer with personal service—and working with stunning jewelry—while keeping up with the fast-paced sales environment. At the next event she volunteered at, the Glitter Gala, she mingled with guests and sold raffle tickets. “I loved that people dressed up and went all out for the Glitter Gala,” she remembers.
This past fall, Hoa and Joe teamed up for the 31st annual Glitter Sale. As part of the checkout team, they bagged shoppers’ purchases, chatting with them about the treasures they’d found.
“There was a lot of excitement at the event,” Joe remembers. “I was impressed by the rush of people as the doors opened. People had come from as far away as Oregon and Idaho!”
“Goodwill has a smooth system in place for running the event—which makes it enjoyable to volunteer,” he adds.
Making a difference
Both Hoa and Joe admire Goodwill’s mission and work. “In choosing where to volunteer, I am drawn to organizations that meet people’s fundamental needs. Goodwill’s work benefits the individual, the economy, and the community,” Hoa says.
“Homelessness in Seattle is continuing to increase, and Goodwill’s work counteracts the causes of homelessness,” Joe says. Seventy-six percent of the students Goodwill serves live in poverty, and nine percent are homeless. Goodwill’s programs help remove barriers and provide job training to change lives by providing a means to be independent, secure and confident. “Goodwill’s programs help people get on their feet. Whether we’re donating items or volunteering time, we know we’re supporting an organization that truly makes a difference.”
When asked if they plan on volunteering together for future events, the answer from Hoa and Joe is clear: “Of course!”