While many of their counterparts are catching up at local cafes, the Wednesday afternoon volunteers at the SOS Thrift Shop are putting a new spin on the weekly coffee club. The group combines the social benefits of meeting for coffee, with giving back to the community, creating win-win-win. While bonding over clothing racks and cash registers may not seem as fun as lingering over a donut and a double-double, this happy group of volunteers beg to differ.

SOS Thrift Shop volunteers can work the cash, tag clothes or sort donations in the back. A 3.5 hour shift is the norm, especially for the cashiers, but volunteers are not restricted to that. This group works the same Wednesday shift because the schedule suits them (and because they have become friends). but Don and some others are also known for taking a “power hour,” where they drop in on other days as well, when it’s convenient for them, just to help out where necessary.

“You feel like you have accomplished something even if it’s only for an hour,” he says. “The other thing is that everyone is equal here,” adds Don. “The full-time staff treats us like gold.”

Adds volunteer Frances Cej, “You feel really valued here.”

Amid a spontaneous chorus of positive comments from other volunteers, one sums it up best, “It’s common sense and respect. Everyone has fun, and a sense of humour. I have seen nothing but smiles here.”

Just what one would expect from their weekly coffee club.