On more than one occasion I’ve had a customer of a certain age eye the giggly young staff behind the counter and peer at me over their glasses to ask, “So what’s it like working with so many young people?” I, being of a certain age as well, will smirk in reply and we’ll share an unspoken understanding. All of us love the young people in our lives, but heaven knows they can be a test.
I have to honestly say, however, that despite the daily challenges, our store has been uncommonly fortunate to have such a bright and vibrant crew come through our doors over the years. Sometimes we’ll get folks who’ve long since left us for careers and educations elsewhere, just coming by to say hello when they’re in town and let us know how they’re doing.
I think that their loyalty and good memories of us have so much to do with the customers and community that we serve. It’s not an endless, anonymous stream of faces we see every day, but often the same ones over and over. And this allows us to build an actual relationship with people and they’ll have favorite customers they’re happy to see as the months and years roll by.
One of the things that I’ve really seen make an impact on the staff, is the tremendous amount of community service our customers are dedicated to. We have folks coming in all the time to pick up donations, to post flyers for fundraisers, or to take the time to tell us about the great turn out they had for Boo Blast or the yearly TOW Jog-a-thon.
Sometimes young people just smile and nod politely, but I’m privy to overhear the conversations they have when you walk out the door, and they’ll chat to each other about how cool it is that this or that parent is so dedicated to their children’s school. They’ll swap stories about the great things their mom or dad has done with theirs, and I think it gives them the perspective to appreciate how all of that interconnects and makes the whole community stronger, and doesn’t just benefit them alone.
One of the things they get to see up close and personal is the Boys and Girls Club Wish Lists that Terry-Anne from the Laguna branch lets us run through our store. The staff gets genuinely teary eyed at the thank you letters we get each year in January from the kids who are the recipients of the generous gifts our clientele gives each year.
Sometimes they’ll recognize a gift described in the letter as something that they wrapped, and they get so proud of having been a part of the effort.
So thank you, Good People, for making this the sort of place that impacts the youth of our community in so many different ways. Because you don’t usually get to see them, we’ve included a few pictures of those thank you letters. Please take the time to look them over and recognize that all that work you do throughout the year has much impact in ways you might not even realize.