Garret has worked for arc in the Green Mountain store for the last seven years. Garret works as a furniture assistant, but he also helps to run carts, stock shelves, and he takes and organizes donations. Garret is currently remodeling his home, so while he is sorting and organizing, he is also on the lookout for items that might fit well in his home. He recently bought a new dresser for his bedroom.
Garret loves being a part of arc because of his coworkers and supervisors who always have his back if he needs the help. He also loves being part of something that is giving back to his community every day. Garret describes himself as a people person, which is why he is the perfect employee to help customers with their furniture purchases and donations.
While Garret isn’t at work he is typically attending arc University classes, fishing, climbing, or playing sports with his friends. Garret’s favorite sports are volleyball, softball, and basketball so he always has a sport to play no matter the time of year.
In his downtime, Garret loves captivating television shows like NCIS, Hawaii 5-0, and Lost.
Garret was recently the featured Ambassador on Denver7. Watch his appearance here.
Homeless people often rely on the generosity of strangers and nonprofit organizations for assistance when they lack a roof over their heads and the basic necessities of life. Giving Care Bags to the homeless can supply these individuals with items that may be difficult to come by and provide a touch of kindness during a period of their life when they need it the most.
At the last get-together, the arc Ambassador Civitan Club made over 100 Care Bags that will be donated to a homeless shelter in the Denver area. Some of the many items that are needed and that we included in our Care Bags are socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo, band-aids, chapstick, protein bars, and many other essentials. As the Civitan creed says, “MY HANDS do the work of the world and reach out in service of others.” The arc Ambassador Civitan Club made it their mission on this day to help make the world a more compassionate place
If you would like more information on ways you can support and empower the most vulnerable groups in our community, visit the websites of our arc Thrift Stores partners, the Denver Rescue Mission https://www.denverrescuemission.org/Donate-Items# or Volunteers of America https://www.voacolorado.org/about to find out how you can make a difference to those in need.
Emily is an Ambassador currently working at the Green Mountain location in Lakewood. She recently moved to this new store from the Jewell location, where she worked for about two years. At arc Emily takes care of ragouts and putting items away that have been taken off the shelves.
Emily loves to be a part of arc, not only for the mission and good work she does but also because of all her fellow workmates. She loves being at this new location because she gets to meet new coworkers and customers, and it’s a chance for her to get closer to a whole new group of people.
When Emily isn’t at work she is either taking arc University classes and trips, hanging with her mom, or spending times with animals. Her favorite activity is to go to the zoo and see the animals, especially the giraffes. On a lucky day she might actually be able to feed one right out of her hand! Her passion for the zoo began when she went there with an arc University group. But she has made sure to steer clear of snakes and roly polies because they are the only animals she is not a fan of (and who can blame her!).
Emily also loves to ride horses or to have spa days with her mom.
On reflecting on being a featured Ambassador on Denver7, Emily said: “It was truly amazing; I still feel so special.”
When it was time to decorate for a friend’s baby shower, I knew that arc Thrift was the place to go. In the past I have used children’s books from arc to make cute pennant garlands to hang as decorations. For this celebration, I wanted to make more of these, as well as other wall decorations made from children’s books that I get from arc.
There are tons and tons of kids’ books at every arc Thrift Store I’ve ever been to. I always look for lots of different stories so that I have a lot of different graphics to choose from.
I didn’t have a lot of time but I wanted to do something simple that would look really pretty, so I decided to make pleated flowers to hang on the walls. I started with two pages of the same size. I folded them both into pleats in stapled them together in the very center.
Then I fanned them out and stapled the different sides together so they formed a round shape. The staples are hidden among the pleats.
So easy and they look so good!
I made lots more with different size pages so that they ended up different sizes.
I strung them together in order to hang them up with varied sizes on each garland.
They turned out beautifully and looked wonderful hung around the room, all thanks to arc Thrift.
Ribbons have long been used as a way to raise public consciousness for a cause. This is true for those working for our community. Over the years, disability awareness has evolved from simply bringing knowledge to also include a focus on advocacy for inclusion and on making people aware of local and national resources and activities.
At the last get-together, the arc Ambassador Civitan Club made over 200 maroon ribbons to help raise awareness for those people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Ambassadors will hand them out to family, friends, and coworkers whenever they have the opportunity.
arc Ambassador and club artist, Jeff Alexander, made a very special banner for our Civitan Club. He did a terrific job and we are proud and grateful for the time Jeff took to create something so wonderful.
After President Michelle Knight opened up the meeting and we recited the Civitan Creed, club secretary Elnaz Sobhi, reviewed the minutes from our last meeting. We learned that our club was featured in the Civitan International magazine. What a proud moment for us and a reminder of our mission to build good citizenship and to reach out in service to others.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Graduating is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. That is the model the Ambassador graduates at arc Thrift Stores know well and embrace in their daily lives. Arc University Class of 2019 had 127 graduates earning eight different degrees of excellence. The evening was filled with love, joy, and a ton of fun for all that attended.
Lloyd Lewis, president and CEO of arc Thrift Stores, provided the opening remarks, introduced the speakers and handed out the diplomas to the graduates. Carol Creech gave an emotional parent tribute and expressed her appreciation for the Ambassador opportunities provided by arc Thrift Sores and Arc University. Carol is the dedicated and loving parent of Lizzie Creech, one of our Ambassadors and a 2019 graduate.
Valedictorian Seth Weshnak, gave all the Ambassadors encouragement by telling his story of perseverance as an arc store employee and his involvement with the University and social events. He gave a moving speech about his start at arc, his accomplishments as a proud cashier, and the three goals he still wants to attain. The highlight for Seth was when Lloyd Lewis announced to the audience that he will grant Seth two of his wishes, becoming a full-time employee and one day working in donations.
The commencement address was given by Denver7 news anchor, and dear friend to our organization, Nicole Brady. Nicole is a tireless arc Ambassador advocate and produces monthly profiles featuring our employees. We are grateful for Nicole’s support of our mission and her love of thrift shopping.
The night was topped off by an entertaining music video of the arc Ambassadors at work, at play, in class, and more importantly, sharing the joy of life together as a very special group of friends. As diplomas were being awarded, the sense of pride and accomplishment from the graduates’ families and friends and for each other was profound.
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Francis of Assisi
Kingahnah has been working at the arc Centennial store ever since the doors opened. He has been a valued part of the arc team doing whatever task is asked of him throughout a shift. He often works stocking shoes, running racks, and stocking shelves on the floor. Like many other Ambassadors, Kingahnah’s favorite part of the job is the customers that he gets to meet and help on a daily basis. He also enjoys the company of his coworkers and having the pleasure to work with such motivated and kind people.
Kingahnah and his coworker Elnaz were both just interviewed by a local TV station where they were recognized for all of the hard work they have done for arc and their community. Although Kingahnah works hard for arc, he also spends much of his spare time working on his writing and listening and creating music.
Kingahnah is currently working on a book called, The Box, a story about a young female lead rescuing a gentleman from a cult that is trying to recruit him. He enjoys writing suspenseful stories and poetry that take his imagination to crazy new places. While he isn’t writing, Kingahnah is practicing his DJ skills with his turntables. His passion for music started with hip-hop, jazz, and rock, but he has grown to love all different kinds of music.
Elnaz works closely with fellow Ambassador, Kingahnah, at the Centennial arc store. She has also been working at arc since the store opened in 2015. Elnaz was recently interviewed by the local TV station in a special segment for Mothers’ Day.
Elnaz works in the store stocking and organizing shelves, particularly in the kids’ section, but she will always help out wherever she is needed. Elnaz believes that work and life are both great adventures that have opened up wonderful opportunities and allowed her to meet great coworkers and customers.
Elnaz is a very kind-hearted and caring person who wants to make sure everyone is happy and she will do her part to make that happen.
“Customer service is the #1 goal and priority for me.”
When she is not spreading happiness throughout the Centennial store, Elnaz is often found in the bowling alley. She has won two awards in Colorado for Special Olympics bowling. Her highest competing score was 1,699 points in three games to earn her a first place medal. Although they have taken bowling out of the Special Olympics in Colorado, she still enjoys playing with her friends and family whenever she can.
“The things that arc gives us make us smile. They have given us many great opportunities.”- Elnaz
Lorraine works at the JCRS store with her friends, greeting customers as they come in and out of the stores. I met Lorraine a few weeks ago and as soon as she saw me walk into the store she was excited to chat again for the arc blog.
Since we last talked, Lorraine started working with the Civitan volunteer group through arc. With this new project, Lorraine and other Ambassadors will help volunteer at places like local hospitals and animal shelters. Some of the activities Lorraine and the arc Civitan group will be working on are care packages for military families and helping to teach kids how to read. Lorraine loves volunteering in the community and helping others. She is very excited to stay active in the community and to help others who live in the Denver area.
“If I can touch one person, I did my job,” Lorraine tells me in regards to helping others within the community and arc stores.
Lorraine and her friend, Seth, who is also an Ambassador, work together most days at the store and have grown very close over the years. Lorraine remembers having lunch with Seth on his first day at arc.
In her spare time, Lorraine loves taking arc University classes through Arc University in Spanish and practicing her poetry. She is currently looking for a new house and is very excited about the change and for the chance to use her creative side and set everything up in her new home. She is also looking forward to getting a pet bunny once she moves in.
Lorraine is a valued part of arc and loves being able to great all of the customers each day with a smile on her face.
Lorraine shows me the purple fairy she proudly wears every day, made by one of her longtime customers.
Part of the mission of Civitan is to build good citizenship by providing a volunteer organization of clubs dedicated to serving individual and community needs. At our recent meeting, the Civitan creed was introduced to our arc Ambassador Civitan Club and we learned that this creed is our guiding light as we reach out in service of others.
All of the men and women that work in the various law enforcement agencies do exactly that…reach out in service of others. As our group thought about the many risks police officers take to keep watch over our community, we decided to spend an afternoon creating big thank you posters to show them how much we appreciate their dedication. We had a magnificent time working together and being creative with our posters. One of the Civitan creeds says, “MY MIND teaches me respect for the law and the flag of my country.” We want to let law enforcement officers know that no matter how perilous their jobs can be, we recognize and appreciate the many sacrifices they make for all of us. We look forward to personally delivering our thank you posters to them.
In addition to making the posters, our president Michelle asked for additional ideas for future projects that will help serve our community. The ideas were flying all over the room. Everyone had several really great ideas and the group is very excited to get the ball rolling for our next assignment. Elnaz, our club secretary, provided us notes from our previous meeting and studiously kept track of all the ideas presented. Club members also received their official Civitan International Club t-shirt.
Every meeting we attend going forward, we will recite the Civitan Creed to remind us of the commitment we have made to reach out in service of others.