A Helping Hand: Samantha Tran (11)

Volunteering is a huge part of our high school experience. Many of us wait until the last minute to complete our community service hours while the rest of us stay on top of them, like Samantha Tran (11).

Samantha was introduced to Working Wardrobes, a thrift store located on Harbor Town and Country Shopping Center, through AVID. She went to the event they were holding, thinking it was a one-time experience. However, she later discovered that the Working Wardrobes was an actual store, and she committed to volunteer at the shop regularly.

Not only does Working Wardrobes sell clothes, but it helps the community in the process. Samantha informs us that “the store uses their profits to help veterans return to the workforce.” They assist the lives of many men, women, veterans, and young adults to overcome difficult challenges and help them get back on their feet.

Samantha may not be a young adult struggling to overcome a challenge like those mentioned, but she is still willing to help the community by helping at the store. She shares that “her working companions are nice and understanding, which makes the atmosphere enjoyable and easier to connect on a personal level.” They help her when she is confused about prices or where certain clothes belongs in a certain area of the store, and they understand when she can’t make it to her volunteer day.

She shares that through volunteering at Working Wardrobes, she has “gained working experience like communication between coworkers and customers, skills I can use for future jobs. If you like to volunteer but are shy when it comes to talking to others, it’s okay. Working Wardrobes workers and managers know people are different when it comes to communication and will accommodate to your situation. And hopefully this can help you gradually help a few customers and overcome that fear.”

The store works around donations they receive like clothing, bags, shoes, and jewelry from both men and women, but the majority of clothing they have is business attire and everyday clothing. Samantha helps has much as she can by “asking her friends and family to donate and wishes to post on social media to spread the word.” She also wishes we Argos “donate any used clothing to Working Wardrobes. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just a few bits and pieces. It may no longer be useful or meaningful to you, but it can be for someone else who is looking to better their life, so please donate!”