Volunteer has energy to spare for House of Hope

Marilyn Papendick is bright as a button!  Her smile fills the space she inhabits.  She radiates energy.  After talking with her for 15 minutes, you’re amazed that she has time to do any volunteer work at all.

Marilyn Papendick in the sorting area of the Stuart thrift store.

Marilyn Papendick in the sorting area of the Stuart thrift store.

Marilyn teaches a class in fused glass at the St. Lucie Rock & Gem Club.  She’s passionate about rocks, too, and polishes them into cabochons. (Cabochons are rocks and gemstones that are polished and shaped, instead of being faceted. You see them in many kinds of jewelry.)

Marilyn has also upholstered her own furniture. And she does a little quilting on the side.

With all this going on, she still makes time to sort incoming treasures at the House of Hope thrift store on Federal Highway in Stuart.

“We get all kinds of things, and you never know what will come in next,” Marilyn said.  “We got a curved piece of metal once, and it took us about four days to figure out it was a gadget to squeeze garlic.”

“We get lots of beautiful women’s clothing, too” she said.  “Women are just so aware of what’s in fashion.  They buy something, wear it for a season, and then start looking for something new and different.  Men, on the other hand, tend to wear their clothes to rags.”

Another bit of Marilyn’s wisdom from the sorting room: Be careful, ladies, when you donate purses. You may be donating more than you think!

Marilyn lives in Palm City now, but like many other people on the Treasure Coast, she comes from somewhere else. She and her husband met in Colorado and moved west, where she spent 30 years working for the California state unemployment office.

When retirement time came, Marilyn and her husband decided to head for Florida.  “We like the warm weather,” she said, “and California is SO expensive.”

Marilyn volunteered at other agencies when she first arrived and discovered House of Hope almost by accident.  When the Stuart thrift store had moved to House of Hope in the fall of 2014, she and some friends decided to have a look.  After talking with staff and shopping for a few minutes, she decided that House of Hope was the place she’d been looking for all along.

“I love how organized we are,” she said.  “The people who run this place really know what they’re doing, and the folks I work with are just like family. The vibes are very positive.”

To join the good vibes as a House of Hope volunteer, visit www.hohmartin.org/volunteers.


This article is part of a series of profiles by House of Hope volunteer Arthur Einstein. It includes updates by House of Hope communications director Diane Tomasik.

Watch for further profiles in this series. Posted so far:

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