June Volunteer Spotlight: Charlene Ansley

June Volunteer Spotlight: Charlene Ansley

Charlene, right

 
What motivates you to volunteer?
That’s an interesting question.  I guess I’ve never thought about motivation, it’s just something that I do.  In retrospect though, it’s almost always a joyful experience and it gets me out of my own head.
 
Why ACR?
ACR is the perfect combination for my love of the arts, my compulsive recycling, and my concern for Gaia and her creatures.
 
How long have you volunteered with ACR?
The first time I volunteered for ACR was a free-stuff-for-educators event that was held in Harley’s back yard (one of the original founders) where supplies were laid out on the grass.  I’m not sure when that was but ACR’s come a long way since then!
 
Are you more into the arts aspect of ACR or the conservation aspect and why?
Both, I think, but there’s another aspect of ACR that I really appreciate and that is that it’s such a well-managed organization.
 
Where else have/do you volunteer?
When I lived in Midland and my kids were younger, I volunteered for Meals on Wheels, my church, and the League of Women Voters.  I ended up getting a job in the Texas office of the League when I first moved to Austin.  Then there was a block of several years when I had so many part-time jobs that I didn’t have time to volunteer, but now I’m able to again and mostly volunteer for my neighborhood association and ACR with an occasional green space cleaning gig.
 
What do you enjoy the most out of volunteering for ACR? 
There are several layers there.  First, the people. The folks associated with ACR, staff, volunteers, and customers are such fun, interesting, good peeps.  I feel like I’ve found my tribe. Then there’s the stuff!  The thrill of finding that amazing treasure in a box of donations or a vintage something or other that brings back memories is intoxicating.  And really, where else could I find the kind of tasks that are a zen meditation for me, like untangling a huge wad of yarn, organizing seashells, sorting marbles, taping scads of bits of ribbon, stamping merchandise tags, and more?
 
Do you have any interesting or funny stories about something that happened while you were volunteering at ACR?
When the shop first opened there was a barrel full of red plastic 2 lb. coffee containers in the bucket section.  I thought they would never move, but while I was working one evening a kindergarten teacher discovered them and was so excited to have her class make crowns out of them that she bought them all.  Every one. That taught me to avoid rejecting something when sorting that seems too crazy because there’s usually someone who will love it and it will find its home.  I treasure overhearing people make those kinds of discoveries when I’m on the floor.
 
Thank you, Charlene for all your contributions to ACR! Charlene has been volunteering with us since before we even had a physical center and we can’t imagine ACR without her!

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