Recently I wrote about my hope­ful antic­i­pa­tion of retire­ment in about a year. Among the many things to con­sid­er when think­ing of one’s retire­ment is the very real con­cern of what to do with one’s time. There are far too many sad sto­ries of peo­ple who, upon retire­ment, took to the couch and the tele­vi­sion and wast­ed away, per­haps short­en­ing their gold­en years in the process. 

Keeping busy post-retire­ment is not only ful­fill­ing but numer­ous stud­ies have shown that old­er peo­ple who remain active and engaged in their com­mu­ni­ty are hap­pi­er and live longer than those who do not. 

I have vowed to take this to heart. I have plen­ty of things I want to do once I am no longer employed full-time. Of course, this web­site will occu­py much of my time. But also high on my list is a desire to do more vol­un­teer work in the com­mu­ni­ty. One of the things I’ve long admired about Winchester and Clark County are the many char­i­ta­ble orga­ni­za­tions that do so much good work. Most of these groups rely most­ly or entire­ly upon vol­un­teers to run their operations. 

Clark County Community Services is one of these orga­ni­za­tions. Founded in 1975, CCCS is ded­i­cat­ed to pro­vid­ing ser­vices to indi­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies in cri­sis. People who are in need of basic life-sus­tain­ing resources, includ­ing food, util­i­ties, hous­ing, cloth­ing, and more. 

The orga­ni­za­tion runs CC’s Closet, a thrift store that accepts dona­tions of items such as gen­tly used cloth­ing, acces­sories, nurs­ery items, home décor, house­wares, kitchen tools, and hol­i­day décor. Sales sup­port the ser­vices of CCCS. It’s a great place to find a bar­gain and help sup­port their mis­sion. CCCS also runs a food pantry. 

As you can imag­ine, all of this work requires a lot of vol­un­teer help. And that’s the point of this article. 

Recently, CCCS exec­u­tive direc­tor Debbie Fatkin sent out a plea for help from the com­mu­ni­ty. In it, she wrote that the COVID pan­dem­ic had forced CCCS to scale back its ser­vices and change the way oper­a­tions were run, even clos­ing CC’s Closet for a while. But oper­a­tions have returned to the pre-pan­dem­ic mode, and this has put a strain on the organization. 

“We have been back to nor­mal in terms of dona­tions, the bin, the store, the pantry and have start­ed accept­ing vol­un­teers but they are slow in com­ing, and dona­tions are not slow in com­ing,” Fatkin wrote. 

“The bin is over­flow­ing. Those seek­ing assis­tance have increased to pre-COVID num­bers. We have new shop­pers in the store every day, we believe because of the need to thrift due to the cost of food and gas.”

Fatkin and her staff are look­ing for vol­un­teers to help in the fol­low­ing areas at the store:

  • Processing dona­tions
  • Breaking down cardboard
  • Carrying box­es to the attic
  • Hanging clothes (HUGE NEED, HUGE)
  • Running food bug­gies to cars
  • Making food bags
  • Sorting and pric­ing linens
  • Sorting toys

This is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty for retirees or oth­ers with some free time on their hands to give back to our com­mu­ni­ty. If inter­est­ed, con­tact Debbie Fatkin at 859−744−5034 or stop by the store at 30 Taylor Ave. 

Perhaps I’ll see you there. In about 11 1/2 months. 

  • Pete Koutoulas

    Pete is an IT pro­fes­sion­al work­ing in Lexington. Formerly of Campton, he and his wife have lived in Winchester since 2015. Pete is a for­mer week­ly news­pa­per pub­lish­er and for­mer colum­nist for the Winchester Sun. These days, when not work­ing he can often be found on his back porch read­ing or writ­ing, in the back­yard tend­ing to his toma­to plants, or put­ter­ing around in his garage or work­shop. Reach Pete at pete@wincitynews.org.