This month, our team at Mass Ave team had a chance to recognize an outstanding volunteer and they nominated Tony!
Tony has been a loyal volunteer since 2017. He is flexible and willing to help out every weekend which is a rare gift from a volunteer! We especially enjoy Tony’s dry sense of humor and his thoughtful perspective on how things can be improved for volunteers. It was his suggestion that prompted the personalized name tags for every volunteer. He believed that it was important for volunteers to be seen as individuals rather than a nameless generalized volunteer badge. We agreed!
Tony thrives in a bustling store atmosphere. We like to put him at the door because he is great at welcoming customers in and pointing out all the beautiful items we carry. He typically tells people to make sure they “look up” so they won’t miss the wonderful products like steel drum art and handmade mobiles. It’s important to him that customers have an efficient, comprehensive and enjoyable store experience.
We are grateful for all that Tony brings to the table.
We got to talk to Tony about his experience as a volunteer. Here's what he had to say.
What inspired you to begin volunteering at Global Gifts?
I had been a customer at the original store on Ditch Road for several years. I bought Christmas gifts there especially nativity sets.
My day job entailed working in procurement and buying electronic components to support our production plants located around the world. I could see both the good and the bad side of global trade and chasing cheap labor.
I read up on Global Gifts’ mission and philosophy on fair trade. I like the fair trade philosophy and the way Global Gifts was putting it into practice. I also liked the items that were being sold.
What is your favorite thing about Fair Trade and/or Global Gifts?
I believe it is the commercial strategy and the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people.
What is your favorite Fair Trade product or artisan group?
I like the Haitian steel drum art because the they take something that is basically packaging waste and make into beautiful pieces of art. I also appreciate the Kenyan flip flop art. The discarded shoes from the ocean and ditches were transformed into animal figurines.
Do you have a favorite country where Fair Trade products are sourced and represented in our stores?
Kenya and some of the more obscure countries like Kazakhstan.
Any advice for new volunteers?
Have fun! Pick a few of your favorite products and get to know the background like country of origin and the artisan group. This will help you better engage with the customers.
Feel inspired to join our team?
We always need volunteers and we'd love to have you! You can submit an application online here.