The Unexpected Benefits of Volunteering

Giving your time actually makes you feel time-rich.  Cassie Mogilner, a professor at Wharton wrote in the Harvard Business Review that – based on her experiments and research – those who give away their time serving others say they feel less time-constrained than those who don’t.

Her studies discovered that, rather than the social connection or enjoyment connected with volunteering, the people who give their time away feel more capable, confident and useful. They feel more accomplished, and that’s why they feel like they have more time to accomplish things in the future.

In 2017, 140 Volunteers gave 16,980 hours of their time at MITS, an average of a little more than 10 hours per month. Volunteer opportunities are wide open at the Mercer Island Thrift Shop including cashiering, customer service, and processing donated goods. We also put to use the special talents which experienced volunteers bring including store development and administrative help. The store managers, Suzanne Philen and Logan Ens are ready to set up a time to give you a tour and explore how you might find a great fit at MITS for the gifting of your time.  

Cashiers - 3 hour shifts

We are currently recruiting volunteers to become part of our cashier team. We offer: 

  • A detailed cashier training handbook and readiness quiz (answers provided) to help you get started. 
  • Hands on training on our modern point of sale system. We even take mobile device payments.
  • You’ll work with a training buddy during your first shifts to make sure you’re feeling confident.
  • Using our online scheduling app, you can control your shifts.
  • Practical feedback to support job training and development.
  • References for jobs and a personalized letters of recommendation.

    Available Shifts: Monday through Saturday
    These are suggested shifts. You may flex your time to fit your busy schedule.

    9:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
    1:00 p.m to 4:15 p.m.
    5:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

    Sundays  11:45 -3:15 p.m. and 1:45 to 5:15 p.m.

    Jewelry Sorting Testing and Grading

    The Mercer Island Thrift Shop is looking for volunteers to fill two skill levels in our jewelry department. 

    Level 1:  Jewelry Assistant

    Sort and untangle jewelry, organize, attach string tags to bracelets and necklaces and attach earrings to display cards.  Attention to detail, fine motor skills, teamwork and good communication are required.

    Level 2: Jewelry Lead

    Test, grade, price and display donated jewelry. A knowledge of gemstones, precious metals and the ability to identify designer work is desired. Good communication, transparency, accountability and teamwork skills are needed for the success of the mission. Volunteer schedules are flexible.


    Sales Floor & Greeting

    What would our mission be without loyal customers, right? Each team member contributes to the Mercer Island Thrift Shop’s success by providing excellent customer service to thrift shop patrons and donors...


    Book Department

    When you become a sorter of the plethora of publications at MITS, you'll find a book you've always wanted to read and three more that you didn't know you wanted to read. “His hands were weak and shaking from carrying far too many books from the bookshop. It was the best feeling.”   Joseph Gordon-Levitt The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories.