For five years, I have been an active volunteer at the Coastal Hospice Thrift Shop in Berlin and I want to share with the community what a great place this is to volunteer.
When I was considering where to spend my volunteer time after I retired, I knew I wanted to help a local cause. Knowing the money the Thrift Shop raises is going to a local nonprofit — Coastal Hospice at the Ocean, a new hospice residence — makes the work I do important.
I volunteer four to five hours a week at the Thrift Shop, but also take sewing home, repairing by hand donated clothing so everything is in good condition when it hits the racks.
I worked in retail most of my life, including 20 years on the Boardwalk in a Trimper gift shop, but today, I love working at the Thrift Shop. I often hear people say how nice our store is, and I’m proud to be part of it.
The camaraderie among the Thrift Shop volunteers and staff is wonderful. I can’t say enough about all the ladies and men who work there. I love the little get-togethers we have, like the picnics, because you get to meet everybody. Everyone is super friendly, and we’re like a family. And we’re appreciated by the managers.
The flexibility of work hours makes volunteering there very easy. They let us do whatever interests us the most for as many hours as we want. I have a good feeling when I leave there that I’ve done a job that is good for people and that helps my neighbors on the Eastern Shore.
I would like to encourage others in the community to join me in volunteering at the Coastal Hospice Thrift Shop. Everybody who is capable of doing something should. It will make you feel really good.
Coastal Hospice Thrift Shop Volunteer
Observations of a longtime resident
My husband and I became permanent residents of ocean Pines in April of 1990. We were thrilled to at last achieve our dream of living on the shore after the children were grown and on their own. We immediately became members of most of the amenities in the Pines, loving playing golf whenever we felt like a game and socializing with new people almost daily. The center of our social life was the country club in fall and winter and the yacht club all summer.
Everyone was so very welcoming and kind to us. We became bowlers in the Ocean Pines league and bowled all fall and winter further increasing our circle of friends. If you had a question in those days you could walk in to Tim Stoner’s office and if he did not know the answer he would find someone who did. As the other golf courses were built around us, most of our husbands volunteered as rangers on those courses so that they could play free on certain days and thus our circle of friends continued to increase. We used the yacht club pool and also the sports core all summer long. Over the years, our community has doubled at least in year-round members.
As we have aged our socialization has diminished due to health issues, but we still enjoy attending a happy hour or dinner at the clubs. We no longer have memberships in all the amenities, but do still take swim classes and occasionally ride for a few holes on the golf course. When we have guests from the western shore, we usually take them out to dinner or brunch.
Last weekend we took a visitor from Sherman Oaks, California to brunch at the new yacht club. When we arrived the hostesses were very welcoming and led us to our table. There was one other table of four in the dining room.
A waiter arrived at our table introduced himself and said, “What would you guys like to drink?” We ordered iced tea, as it was still 1 p.m. The tea arrived cold with no ice in the glasses. We inquired if there was any soy oil in the salad dressing, as our guest has a severe allergy to same. He then told us that today was his first day on the job, but he would find out for us. I asked him to please bring us some spoons when he came back.
We ordered Cobb salad and a blackened shrimp salad, with dressings on the side. When the salads arrived my salad had chopped ham on it and the rind had not been removed from the meat, the waiter never removed a single used dish or utensil from the table, never removed the fourth setting from the table before serving our threesome. He had no one shadowing him as I would have expected of a new employee.
I asked for ice for my drink and he brought a glass filled with ice and did not offer to add it to the tea. We boxed the remainder of our salad, bused our table and handed it to our waiter to remove.
He handed us a check for $53-plus. My husband usually tips at least 20 percent, but just could not bring himself to do that for this poor service, which was not the fault of the new waiter. Where in the world is the management?
We never received our spoons, by the way. We have used the club all these years through excellent times (when Mr. Miller ran the yacht club). We had our 50th wedding anniversary party at the club (when Pudge was manager, but Linda catered the affair and did an excellent job). No wonder the club makes no money.
Mary T Leidner
Ocean Pines Resident
(the forgotten elderly)