Without the hard work and dedication of volunteers, Wellspring’s Baby Boutique wouldn’t be half as effective. Volunteers sort through donations of clothing and essential items, help families shopping in the store, and keep our racks well stocked. They help the Baby Boutique to serve its goal of giving families experiencing homelessness an opportunity to shop for free clothing and other essentials in a dignified environment.
A few special volunteers also spend time away from Wellspring, using their unique skills to create products for our families.
Barbara Wolfendale has been volunteering with the Baby Boutique for over 13 years. She first found out about the store in its first location. Each week she’d visit a chiropractor in the same building, always noticing the Baby Boutique below. One week she decided to ask about volunteering. After she started, she realized there was a unique need in the store that she could help with. A lack of blankets.
The Baby Boutique was always low on baby blankets and Barbara had been sewing since she was 12, to help matters she also had a few yards of spare fabric at home at the time. It didn’t take long for her to start sewing blankets specifically to bring to Wellspring.
In Barbara’s own words, that was “thousands of yards ago.” Since then, she’s donated over 2,000 blankets to our Baby Boutique. Barbara says her goal is to “keep one baby warm at a time” and we’re sure each of those 2,000 blankets has done just that. That’s what keeps Barbara going. “A lot of love and a lot of blessings go into my blankets.”
Christa Friedrich has been volunteering with the Baby Boutique for 12 years. She started by donating clothing from her grandkids, but on one visit she noticed a huge pile of clothes and decided to ask, “Do you need any help?”
Like Barbara, Christa saw a need within the Baby Boutique that she could meet. Many dolls were being donated to Wellspring with marks on them, torn clothing, or dirty hair. Christa started to take the dolls home, washing their hair with shampoo and conditioner, creating new clothing for them when needed, and cleaning the dolls to make them look better than new.
One of the reasons Christa continues to work with the dolls is that it feels good knowing, “I helped a little girl have a little bit of happiness”.
Volunteering in the Baby Boutique has also allowed Christa to see some of the children taking her dolls home. “One time we had this doll, it was life sized almost. I thought, ‘Oh my god, nobody’s going to take that doll!’ But there was a man with his daughter. He came right up to me and he said, ‘Can I have this doll for my daughter?’ The girl came over and the doll was as tall as she was! But she was so happy to get that doll. It was amazing.”
Barbara and Christa’s dedication throughout the years is equal to the amount of gratitude we feel for their hard work. Thank you, Christa and Barbara, and all of the volunteers that work to help families experiencing homelessness!
Would you like to volunteer in our Baby Boutique or donate some gently used items? Contact Tai Powell, Volunteer Coordinator and Baby Boutique manager, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.