Ambassador Spotlight: Lorraine

Lorraine is an arc Ambassador who has worked for the company for the last eleven years, greeting customers and doing her best to put a smile on every single face that walks into the store. Lorraine has made many friends through her time at arc, one of them being another Ambassador, Lisa. Her customers are still her favorite thing about her job.

“It is all about taking care of our customers. They are so great to us and their donations and service have helped me and my friends in so many ways.” Lorraine said.

She loves being the first person customers see when they walk into the store because she has a chance to brighten someone’s day. Her extremely friendly attitude and positive outlook on life is extremely contagious; you can’t help but smile and laugh every time you talk to her.

“When you have fun with your customers they come back, and I love to have fun,” she explained.

One of her favorite parts about working at arc is being able to have fun on the job, and make sure others do as well. On any given day, you might find Lorraine wearing a beautiful crown on her head! And, she loves to dress up for different holidays. For Halloween this past year Lorraine dressed up as a Dalmatian dog, and loved seeing people smile when they saw her.

In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry about animals, and about the people she is close to. Some of her other favorite activities are shopping, going out to eat, and just being around her friends. Lorraine even speaks some Spanish, which enables her to help customers who may not speak English.

Not long ago, Lorraine was asked to accompany Lloyd Lewis, president and CEO of arc, to speak at a local school. Some kids with disabilities were being bullied by their classmates and Lorraine wanted to make sure that nobody felt unsafe or out of place. She wants to make sure that everyone knows that “we are all the same on the inside,” and hers or any other disability may affect someone on the outside but it cannot affect their heart and mind.

“I want to teach people more patience and understanding when it comes to disabilities,” she said. “If I can teach some more kindness, love, and patience then I did my job right.”

She loves working at arc because everyone has made her feel like she is really a part of something great.

“You feel special here. Arc does that for you,” she said.

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Here Lorraine was beyond excited to have won the raffle at the recent Valentine’s Day dance.

 

Ambassador Spotlight: Adam

Adam has worked at arc for about eight years now, working in the stores, floating around the office, and recording for arc radio commercials. Adam has loved working for arc all these years, but he keeps himself very busy on the days he’s not working. He loves watching TV, going for walks with friends, and working out in his “workout room.”

He also spends a lot of his time working with law enforcement. Once a week he works at the local COP shop where people can come report crimes and even get fingerprinting done. His favorite part about the COP shop is all of the law enforcement patches that he collects. His favorite patch of all time is the patch from the Arapahoe Police Department. Adam has also been bringing cookies and treats to the front line officers around Colorado.

Although he loves working, and donating cookies to the officers, his favorite police activity is to go on ride-alongs with his cop friends. He spends about four to eight hours with the cop, driving around different neighborhoods and seeing all of the activity along the way.

Adam also occupies his time on with disabilities groups, going on different adventures. Some of his past adventures have been to the 16th Street Mall and to Winter Park a few years back to ski. Adam also loves spending time with his family and his twin brother Jared.

Adam’s activities keep him very busy, but he still prioritizes his time with arc. He is a valued employee who has done amazing work over his eight years. His hard work does not go unnoticed. He has received the Hero of the Year Award, presented at the annual gala in recognition of his dedication to the stores and his customers. When he is not receiving awards at the gala, he is walking the runway as a model in the fashion show.

Adam is an amazing ambassador with a passion for arc, the police force, and his family.

 

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Meet Gerta and Mark

Gerta and Mark have years of merchandising experience between them. Over the years this dynamic duo have become experts in purchasing new Halloween product for our arc Halloween shops. Buying for 28 stores can be a big challenge but Gerta and Mark have it all wired. Each year they visit Orlando and New Orleans, host cities of the two largest Halloween shows in the country. They rely on past store sales, their instinct, and the Halloween spirit to purchase the most trendy and unique costumes – for men, women, kids, and yes, even pets – on the market.

The best thing about costumes at arc is that you can mix the old with the new. Take a used dress from our ladies department and add brand new fairy wings and a wig to create a picture perfect magical sprite. Purchase gently used jeans and a t-shirt and become a zombie with the addition of new makeup, fake blood, and a new hat. Blending the gently loved items you can find at arc with the brand new Halloween accessories, makeup, and wigs that we sell during the season is a recipe for a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume sure to fright and delight!

Gerta and Mark truly make Halloween a unique and special shopping experience. Learn more this September by visiting your local arc Thrift Stores to build your very own Halloween masterpiece.

Melissa, 10, is an American Girl

We are so happy to share this video with you all about this sweet young lady.

 

Pennsylvania’s Melissa Shang, 10, is asking the toy company American Girl to make a doll for girls like her, with disabilities. Melissa has a form of muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair, and she credits the American Girl dolls with helping her to understand “what it’s like to be someone else.” Now, she wants other kids to understand what her life is like. In her petition, she writes:

Being a disabled girl is hard. Muscular Dystrophy prevents me from activities like running and ice-skating, and all the stuff that other girls take for granted. For once, I don’t want to be invisible or a side character that the main American Girl has to help: I want other girls to know what it’s like to be me, through a disabled American Girl’s story.

The company seems primed to listen. This year they added hearing aids and allergy-free lunches to their accessories list, furthering a mission to create empathy. Normalizing disabilities is a step we’d like to see taken. Go, Melissa Shang! Watch her video, above, and sign her petition here.

Lloyd Lewis

Lloyd Lewis

“When Lloyd Lewis goes to work as president and CEO of arc Thrift Stores, he is inspired every day by his son, Kennedy, who was born in 2003 with Down Syndrome.”  Read more of the great article written by Lynn Bronikowski of ColoradoBiz Magazine.  We are proud to have such a visionary leader captaining the arc Thrift Stores ship!