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Kroeze has an 'angel' of a time volunteering

 

Last updated 4/17/2008 at Noon

Anne Kroeze, shown here displaying one of the clothing items for sale, has been volunteering her time twice a month at the Angel Shop thrift store in Fallbrook since 1978.

Anne Kroeze’s welcoming smile warms the atmosphere at the Angel Shop in Fallbrook. Kroeze, along with the other wonderful volunteers, extend gracious hospitality at the thrift store that powers the generous giving of this nonprofit organization.

“We have a wonderful group of ladies who have taken on the responsibility of running a thrift shop,” said Kroeze. “These ladies work hard so we can continue to give money back to our community.”

The warmth that Kroeze radiates is an asset that has served her well, especially during the years when she was a nurse. The desire to care for people and to be a nurse, says Kroeze, began when she was a child.

“I always wanted to be a nurse and there was never any doubt about what I wanted to do,” she said. “It was my goal in life.”

In 1969, Kroeze left the Midwest and came to the rural town of Fallbrook. When she arrived, she assumed the position of Director of Nursing at Tri City Hospital.

Her passion to volunteer was something she learned from her parents, as they were always lending a helping hand in their own community. In 1978, when the Angel Shop opened, Kroeze became a charter member/volunteer. She has been part of this nonprofit organization since day one.

“We have given about $2.5 million back to the community since 1978,” said Kroeze.

The Angel Shop, she explains, is a community endeavor. Residents donate unwanted items, the Angel Shop sells them and the proceeds go back to the community. It’s a cycle of community support.

Donations include clothing, household items, electrical items, small appliances and small pieces of furniture.

The Angel Shop, split into two levels, has nice, well-organized displays. The lower level features everyday clothing for the whole family as well as non-clothing items.

Upstairs is the Angel Boutique, brimful of upscale designer-style garments such as wedding dresses, prom dresses, tuxedos, suits and formal dresses. The prices in the boutique range from $15 to $25 per item.

The volunteers at the Angel Shop are dedicated, hardworking women, said Kroeze. “Everyone who works here has the same purpose: to give back to the community.”

Kroeze says she has made lifelong friends at the Angel Shop. “They are a fascinating group of women to work with,” she said.

Kroeze volunteers two to three days per month at the Angel Shop. While she is busy collecting donations and arranging displays, she is also helping customers.

According to Kroeze, there are currently 600 members and 275 volunteers. Although those numbers might appear large, the Angel Shop still needs more volunteers. Due to the high volume of inventory and constant flow of work, they are always in need of more assistance.

“There is a job for anybody who wants to volunteer here,” said Kroeze, “and it’s a place where a woman can spend several hours of her day with special ladies and make new friendships.”

The Angel Shop is located at 1002 South Main Avenue. For wonderful bargains and information on volunteering, drop by or contact the Angel Society at (760) 728-6513.

 

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