The Thrill of the Treasure Hunt: A Volunteer Story

Mission Store Volunteer sorting donations

“I really look forward to seeing what kind of treasures that have been donated to the Store. I genuinely look forward to coming in and coming across a really great find and to be able to appreciate the value it holds,” shares Mission Store volunteer Hugh Cullaton.

Hugh has been volunteering for the Mission Store for about four years. He was a part of the move from the old store to the current location at York and Rectory, which the Mission Store has called home for two years. With more space, comes more opportunity to find that hidden treasure.

“I was, and still am to a degree, a collector and seller of antiques,” Hugh describes, “and when I looked into volunteering, and spoke to the Mission Store at a booth they had at a volunteer and job fair, we agreed I made a good match for what the Store needed because of the skills I had as a collector; I would be able to spot the valuable pieces that come through donations.”

Volunteering at the Mission Store gives Hugh lots of opportunities to bring back that feeling of the “hunt” which many collectors crave.

“It was never about acquisition of items for me, it was always about hunting down that one piece and being able to put it on your shelf before moving on to the next great search,” Hugh explains. And through his work at the Mission Store, the thrill of searching through garage sales that he used to have in his collecting days returns once again.

Hugh not only gets to share his gifts and genuinely enjoy those moments where he has received exceptional finds, but he has also found that volunteering after his retirement has helped with expanding his social circle by getting to know his fellow volunteers.

“They’re a great group of people to work with and spend time around. I know when I get here it’s going to be a comfortable day; there’s a sense of camaraderie we all have together.”

Hugh started volunteering at the Mission Store just half a day per week and has now worked up to two full days each week. He loves to price and sort through the donated treasures (some more valuable than others) but the overall experience of working alongside friends while revisiting the thrill of the “hunt” from collecting, is priceless.

Written by Rachel Ganzewinkel, Communications & PR Coordinator

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