Mary Culp spent more than 900 hours last year surrounded by clothes, glassware and home goods.
For the past two years, Culp, a 60-year-old Rock Hill native, has been a volunteer with the Hospice and Community Care resale store off South Heckle Boulevard. The not-for-profit agency recently recognized Culp for putting in more than 944 volunteer hours in 2017.
“I enjoy working here,” Culp said. “The people who come through are wonderful. You meet a lot of new friends here.”
Culp works four to five hours a day, four days a week in the shop. She cleans, sorts, prices and shelves items. Culp worked full time at York Technical College before retiring in late April.
The resale store raises funds to help uninsured families afford hospice care, said Jennifer Graham, spokesperson for Hospice and Community Care, which serves York, Chester, Lancaster, Cherokee, Fairfield and Union Counties. Volunteers run both the Rock Hill and Lancaster resale stores.
“It’s people like Mary that are willing to be here 20-25 hours a week that make it happen,” Graham said.
For Culp, the store is a way to help families. Culp took care of both of her parents when they fell ill before they passed away.
“I know what it’s like to take care of people when they’re sick. That’s why hospice is so important to me,” she said. “I know I’m working here for a good cause.”
Culp also has been a longtime customer of the shop. She said she enjoys collecting glassware, china and Victorian ornaments. She’s also well known for her Christmas decorating skills, one of her first jobs as a volunteer in the store.
Culp does catering and wedding planning and finds many of her event items in the resale store, said store manager Leslie Pritchard.
“You can find anything, dishes, crystal, porcelain dolls and piece by piece you can build a collection,” Culp said in a statement from the store. “I love finding treasures; it’s a collector’s treasury.”
When customers come into the store, they look for Mary to help them, Graham said.
“She makes people feel good,” she said.
Mary usually helps families that are looking for items after losing their homes to fires or other tragedies, Pritchard said.
“She’s a wonderful person,” she said. “I know everybody loves her. She’s easy to work with.”
The love is mutual.
“It’s a great place to work,” Culp said. “Everybody here I love them. It’s like a big family.”
Want to help?
Shop at a Hospice and Community Care resale store:
Rock Hill: 784 S. Heckle Blvd.
Lancaster: 121 S. Main Street.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Donations of gently used clothing, shoes, accessories, household items, books, toys and furniture are also accepted. Donations are tax-deductible.