After a five-month hiatus, Pick of the Litter reopened last August at NE First & Fogarty, just a tennis ball’s throw south of our previous location on the Lincoln County Commons in Newport.
COVID SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
• POTL staff, volunteers, and shoppers are required to wear face coverings & to sanitize or wash hands on entry and frequently during their time at the store. Hand sanitizing stations have been placed in several areas throughout the premises, & the two buildings contain seven hot-water sinks.
• Volunteers sanitize frequently touched surfaces (countertops, shelf & basket fronts, doorknobs, railings, etc.) throughout the day.
• Six-foot social distancing is maintained in the volunteer areas & also on the sales floor (by means of distance & directional markings on the floors and signage throughout the store) and in the outdoor & cashier waiting lines (by means of distance markings on the sidewalk & floor).
• A greeter is on duty at the entry door during all sales hours to make sure shoppers comply with face covering & hand sanitizing requirements and to ensure that no more than 14 shoppers are in the store at any one time (the limit for our square footage under current county risk assessment).
INCREMENTAL SCHEDULING GOALS
• shopping and donation receiving days/hours are limited to Thursday-Friday-Saturday from 11 to 3;
• restocking of shelves & racks takes place on Tuesdays & Wednesdays and on sales days before the store opens to the public;
• sorting, processing, & pricing of donations take place all day long on all five open days;
• and the operation is closed altogether on Sundays & Mondays.
Our short-term goal is to add Sunday afternoon to our open shopping days.
In the coming months we hope to extend our open hours on existing sales days, which will require additional cashiers.
POTL volunteer shifts are typically structured in approximately four-hour increments, but alternative arrangements can be made.
Some volunteers do a single shift a week, others more.
Ideally, volunteers commit to the same shift or shifts from week to week.
Unscheduled volunteers can be accommodated, but that requires advance arrangements, since social distancing limits the number of volunteers who can be in a given area at one time.
These are the basic assignment areas (which may be subdivided). The most critical areas of need at the moment are in boldface (in addition to which, the book department can always use more hands):
• Donation receiving
• “Hard goods” (housewares) sorting/processing/pricing/stocking
• “Soft goods” (clothing & linens) sorting/processing/pricing/stocking
• Book & media sorting/processing/pricing/stocking
• Testing (appliances & electronics)
• Doorperson (greeting customers & managing store occupancy)
• Office work
Most assignments can be adapted to be performed while seated.
New volunteers are first given an orientation to the overall store operation, then typically paired with an experienced volunteer in their duty area.
Volunteers are provided with free coffee, bottled water, & snacks in the break area.
Volunteers who live outside Newport city limits are eligible for monthly mileage reimbursement at 14¢/mi (amount set by the IRS).
Regularly scheduled volunteers may also occasionally receive additional thank-yous such as POTL gift cards at the direction of the FOLCAS board.
At present, regularly scheduled volunteers with six months of service are eligible to begin earning credits toward FOLCAS-paid vet care assistance at the rate of 75¢ per hour worked. Our ability to maintain this program will of course depend on our success in rebuilding our revenue.
IF YOU’RE READY TO JOIN IN …
visit folcas.com, go to the Thrift Store page, download the volunteer application, fill it out, and mail, email, or bring it in.
PLEASE PASS THIS INFORMATION ON
to your networks of friends & relations. The more volunteers we have, the more merrily the registers will ring for the animals!
—Emily DeHuff, FOLCAS President