My name is Mary Louise Ceroni, and I am a volunteer at the GBF. First, I am a wife and mother to three wonderful children, now all grown and responsible members of society. I was a stayat home mom for 20 years, then an opportunity came along to go to work in the accounting department of a law firm in downtown Hamilton, which was to be only temporary for 6 months that turned into 15 years. I retired June 2014. While the children were in school my volunteering was centered around the school community, other than that not much else. Working full time, I just never found the time to volunteer. When I retired I took approx 6 months to travel a bit and do some things around the house and I always knew I wanted to help in my community. I count my lucky stars everyday for the life that I have, and now it was time to give a little back.
GBF has a presence in Grimsby that is synonymous with helping those in need. So I went in to check it out. One thing I knew, I didn’t want, was another job where I had to be on a schedule and people depending on me for a certain shift. I met with Marion Thorp and told her what I wanted, and her words were “Come when you can, stay as long as you can, we are happy to have any commitment of time you can”. Well, I signed up, that was 1 year ago. I work on what I call the fashion floor, hanging the clothes and dressing the mannequins. The mannequins, allow me to express fashion styles that I like, but may not always wear myself. The customers comment on them all the time and the outfits are purchased sometimes before I even get the look complete. It’s like playing with dolls all the time. Helping the customers put together a special occasion outfit or even a costume for a themed party is something I enjoy. In fact one elderly lady that I helped find an outfit for a wedding came back a week later, wanting to give me a tip for my help. The people that you meet while volunteering are the added plus of the whole experience. The other volunteers are a vibrant and welcoming group. The positive atmosphere as set by Stacy, Marion and Roger make GBF a place I want to be. I volunteer anywhere from 3 to 5 days a week for 4 hours each time. Who knew that you could have so much fun volunteering to help others.