Joan Klyn completes two decades as store volunteer extraordinaire

 A nativity scene collection launched Joan Klyn’s two decades of volunteering at The Work of Our Hands. In 2001 she often added to her collection with nativities from our store. Joan recalled, “One day, while I was shopping Cheryl Newendorp [then the store manager] said to me, “‘You’re here so often, you might as well start volunteering.’ So I did!”

   She discovered she liked it so much that she is still working here 21 years later. She is now 84 years old. Joan said, “I like greeting people and telling them what fair trade is all about. I like the reactions I get.”

   She learned firsthand what fair trade accomplishes during a trip to visit Mayan weavers in Guatemala. She and six other women toured Mayan villages, ate with the weavers, observed them at work, and listened to their stories. “They were proud that because of their weaving work their children could attend high school and college,” Joan said.

   Joan took with her some photos of the Mayan artisans’ weavings on display at The Work of Our Hands. “The women were excited to see products they had made displayed in our store,” she said.

   Joan encourages other retirees to volunteer at The Work of Our Hands. “It is a great way to meet people from all over the Midwest,” she said. “It’s fun to tell them about fair trade, and about the attractions in Pella.”

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