The Refuge is looking for volunteer store manager

Guest Article
The Refuge Network

The Refuge started in Isanti County out of concern expressed by a caring group of citizens, for the need to provide services to victims of domestic violence. The founding members recognized that family violence, unfortunately, is pervasive throughout our communities and crosses over all social, economic and religious backgrounds.

In the spring of 1986, The Refuge Network opened its first office in Cambridge providing services in Isanti, Chisago and Kanabec Counties. Due to the growing need, offices were opened in Chisago County in 1993 and in Kanabec County in 1995. For over 20 years, The Refuge Network’s mission has been to help bring an end to domestic violence by providing supportive, non-judgmental services. And today we continue to hold the belief that no one deserves to be abused.

In 2008 The Refuge received a generous donation of property we now use as a shelter for battered women and their children. This facility is the only shelter in East Central Minnesota.

The shelter property is 10 acres of woods, lakeshore, fields and gardens. The home was built in 1902 and completely refurbished since 1997.  A new addition home was added in 2008 and now provides space for up to 15 women and children.  It is a peaceful, tranquil place. We believe it is a perfect place for women and children to heal and begin a new life.

When a woman finds the courage to leave an abusive relationship she often has no where to go. The shelter will assure that safe emergency shelter, safety planning and support services are available to victims of domestic violence.

In an effort to add revenue for the shelter operations, we opened a thrift store in May of 2010. In addition, our “Pass It On” store serves several purposes: providing residents with clothing and household goods, offering shelter residents and community volunteers the opportunity to learn new job skills, as well as providing low cost clothing and hard goods to the community.

One of our former shelter residents has been managing the thrift store since April of 2011, but she now has decided to step down and pursue her educational and personal goals. We applaud her decision, but will miss her leadership. Our store now needs a volunteer store manager who could donate at least 20-25 hours per week as a lead person in the store.

This store manager would preferably be someone with retail experience, especially related to the thrift store world.  Hours are flexible, could be broken into daily shifts or could be worked into several days of the week. Responsibilities would include overseeing the store operations: handling the register processes (check out, etc), handling a weekly schedule, assisting with donations, working with volunteers assigning tasks such as store displays, basically being on hand for questions for volunteers. Tasks and responsibilities vary according to daily needs.

If you are interested or know of someone who might be a good candidate for this volunteer position, please check out our website therefugenetwork.org or leave a message for Marlene at 763-689-3532. You can also email her marlenel@therefugenetwork.org.

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