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Volunteers Keep Family Store Running Smoothly

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Released 31 July 2013

The "Linen Ladies" sure know how to have fun! This group of women volunteer throughout the year sorting, folding, pricing and arranging tablecloths, sheets, towels and more at The Salvation Army of Martin County's Family Store. Located at 1860 SE Federal Hwy in Stuart, The Family Store is not only a great place to shop for bargain hunters, but is also a primary source of revenue for The Salvation Army's Compassion House, a transitional housing shelter for homeless women and children.

According to Shirley Koke, the "unofficial" leader of The Linen Ladies, these volunteers have more than 50 combined years of experience volunteering at The Salvation Army. Mrs. Koke has been volunteering at The Family Store since 2004. Another volunteer, Palm City resident Jeanne Lambdin, has been volunteering for The Salvation Army for more than 20 years. They are assisted by Esther Williams, Mary Waller, Muriel Franz and Bonnie Rogers.

Mrs. Lambdin notes that four is an ideal number to work in the linen area. "It's so much easier to open large items, such as tablecloths, sheets and bedspreads, with extra hands," she said. "We really enjoy working together as a group - some of the ladies come directly to the store after Bible Study or bridge."

Another thing that the ladies agree on is that more volunteers are needed during the summer months. "Several of us go ‘up north' for the summer, and the linen area tends to suffer when we are not there," said Mrs. Lambdin. "The Salvation Army staff is stretched thin as it is and we would welcome anyone to come help, not only during the summer months, but throughout the year."

Judy Jones, Volunteer Coordinator for The Salvation Army, also agrees that more volunteers are needed at The Family Store. "We are not only looking for people to help in the linen department, but also just sorting and hanging clothes in general - as well as answering phones, scheduling pick-ups and staffing the donation door during the morning hours." She adds that volunteers can set their own schedule and work 2 or more hours a day as many days a week as they wish.

"Many volunteers do not realize that their work at The Family Store directly impacts our ability to provide critical services to homeless women and children," Ms. Jones said. "The revenue generated from the store helps us to provide housing, food and daily living skills to homeless women and children throughout the year."


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