Precious Cargo on Board

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Long-time volunteer, Susan Cook

I began to volunteer at The Retreat’s shelter a little over ten years ago. There was a different director and a smaller physical space. Times have changed and there’s a new director and the building has expanded to provide larger bedrooms, a big modern kitchen and a great outdoor playground. It reminds me that on average 60% of the shelter’s residents are children. 

I have fulfilled many different roles as a volunteer. But the one I have found most rewarding is my current primary responsibility  – driving our clients to the Bridgehampton Commons to shop at The Retreat Boutique for clothing and to buy groceries at the supermarket. On these outings, I transport anywhere from one to ten individuals, adults and children.

When I, “The Chauffeur,” drive these women and accompany them to the stores, I learn a tremendous amount about who they are…their taste in clothes, their taste in food, and their ability to help and advise each other. Each and every one is unique. Any stereotypes I may have had are false and shattered. 

I have met and gotten to know many women during my time as a volunteer at The Retreat and have witnessed their enormous capacity for growth and change. They are a source of inspiration.

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