Twenty-five years of volunteering for Suncoast Hospice remains priceless to Shirley Dooley.
After helping with office work, she joined the Suncoast Hospice Resale Shop in St. Petersburg. Her loyal service pays forward a great appreciation of her family’s care. And she plans to keep giving.
“I am going to be 88 this year. I hope to continue working there until I can’t drive anymore. My mother passed in 1994 and hospice helped me a lot with her. Then my husband had hospice and died in 1999. I want to help give back for the wonderful things they did for my husband and my mother,” Dooley expressed.
Dooley has a background in health care. She is a retired registered nurse with many former years of oncology nursing in California. Now a cancer survivor herself, she is determined to stay as healthy and active as possible.
“In 2018 I developed cancer of the breast. I prayed. I had a mastectomy and they got it. So I continue to volunteer with hospice. I think hospice does a terrific job,” she shared.
Volunteering at the store every week means pitching in wherever is needed, working together with good friends and making a difference.
She explained, “We do whatever we need to do in the back or front of the store. Sometimes, we sort, hang and price clothes. I will wash dishes in the breakroom, go through the racks, make sure clothes aren’t on the ground and put out clothes on the floor. We have conversations with customers and each other. I’ve become very close with my fellow workers. We are like a family. We have a lot of laughs.”
The store is not only her place to volunteer, she is also a repeat customer and donor.
“It’s like a little department store. It’s so beautiful. I buy all of my clothes there, and I have for years. People think I’m well-dressed. I’ve even purchased items that I use in my kitchen. I remember when my husband was alive and I would go to work there and come home with things. He told me if I come home with two things, then I should go back there with three things. That’s kind of like a habit to take a bag with me to donate,” Dooley noted.
Her volunteer family and love for the mission inspire her continued service.
She added, “Hospice is run very well. It’s a wonderful place to work. Not only am I doing something for hospice, but it’s fulfilling a need for me, too. When you work in a place that is a happy place and welcomes you then you want to come back.”
Shop, Donate, Volunteer
The three Suncoast Hospice Resale Shops in Pinellas County are run almost entirely by volunteers and are constantly restocked with clothing, furniture, household and other items donated by the community. All proceeds go back to support care for patients, clients and others in need served by Suncoast Hospice or other Empath Health member organizations.
Visit our stores to shop or donate or call to have large items for donation picked up. Click here for locations, hours and phone numbers. Click here to learn about our volunteer opportunities at the stores. Check our calendar for special sales, discounts and events and stay connected at IfYouThrift.org. Thank you for your support!
Join Our Fashion Show
Come to our 26th Annual Suncoast Hospice Fashion Show, Luncheon and Boutique featuring beautiful fashions from the stores on the runway and for purchase. It is happening on Saturday, March 16 starting at 9:30 a.m. at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor.
Click here to purchase tickets. See you there!