Hank Froese has been volunteering twice a week at the Calgary MCC Thrift Shop since his retirement in 1996. He helps with furniture repairs, pricing merchandise, and anything else that may require his handiwork or support. He is praised as a strong helper by other volunteer team members, though Hank is quite humble about the level of his contributions to MCC Thrift.
In the mid 1940s when Hank’s family fled Ukraine, they found support from MCC in Germany. In a letter written by Hank’s mother Anna Froese, she shares about a special Christmas that the family experienced while they were living in a Monastery located in Grauhof near Goslar am Hartz, Germany. That Christmas, Hank received a school kit from MCC. Hank’s mother states, “You should have seen the kid’s sparkling eyes. Yes, even with all the sadness, a little Christmas happiness.” To this day, Hank remembers the moment he received that school kit and how much joy and gratitude he felt upon seeing new school supplies.
Typed excerpt of the letter Anna Froese (Hank's mother ) wrote to family overseas in 1947.
Hank’s family resettled in British Columbia, Canada in 1948, where Hank grew up to become an Aircraft Mechanic. In the late 1980s work opportunities brought him to Calgary with his wife Sheila and children. Throughout Hank’s years in Canada, his gratitude and support for MCC’s work has remained strong. The personal impact MCC had on Hank’s family as well as MCC’s work, values and mission, combined to inspired Sheila to also volunteer at MCC Thrift Shops. Sheila, Hank, and their children have all dedicated their time to volunteer with MCC thrift in many seasons of their lives.
MCC Thrift is meaningful to the Froeses because it allows them to do work they value and enjoy. They also know they’re helping people locally and also making a positive impact for people internationally. As a bonus, it allows them to connect with so many people. They love the positive and social aspects of volunteering at MCC Thrift Shops. They also strongly believe in MCC’s mission and values and know first-hand the impact that MCC’s work can have in someone’s life near and far.
When asked what would you say to someone who might be considering volunteering at MCC Thrift, here is Hank's enthusiastic response:
“Give it a try. It’s a place that’s useful. You matter and you’re making a difference!”
To learn how you can volunteer at an MCC Thrift Shop near you, contact your nearest MCC Thrift Shop.