If you’ve been to the Thrive Thrift Shop in the past year, you’ve most definitely seen a bubbly person with a smiley face behind the cash register desk. Chelsea has been with Thrive for over a year, first as a volunteer, then as a paid cashier.

I started volunteering at Thrive Thrift Shop because I needed work experience and heard about this place from a friend who had volunteered for a few days. I was nervous but also really excited to get back into work after being off for about 10 years. I used to be physically and mentally unwell, until I finally got help for my lifelong eating disorder through a program at the HSC Clinic.”

Chelsea, determined to overcome this disorder, quickly progressed at the clinic and was able to leave the course early.  This in turn gave her the confidence she needed to return to a work setting. Chelsea knew she would have to return to work in stages so she started by accepting a volunteer position at Thrive Thrift Shop. Thrive was a perfect place for her to engage with others and continue her path of healing. She found herself enjoying it immediately. 

I like that we get a lot of regular customers. It adds to the experience to know them on a personal level. It’s nice to make them feel good when they come here. And, I like that it’s more flexible for my physical limitations.”

It’s significant that Chelsea was able to twice take a chance that initially scared her—first in getting help, and then in returning to work—and she came out smiling both times.  So, what would Chelsea say to someone else who might also be afraid of stepping out of a scary situation? 

She answers in her recognizably forthright and bubbly manner: “JUST DO IT! Because you never know what good can come out of it. Whatever happens will be a learning experience. You may never feel ‘ready’, so…you just gotta take the leap!”

JUST DO IT! Because you never know what good can come out of it.