10 Years And Counting At Time Out Thrift Store

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Stan Van Pelt and Ella Hatfield are not typical volunteers.

Both have volunteered for more than a decade at the Time Out Shelter Thrift Store.

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Stan Van Pelt and Ella Hatfield have volunteered for more than a decade at the Time Out Shelter Thrift Store. Anyone interested in assisting the Time Out Shelter or serving as a volunteer can call, (928) 474-3989.

Van Pelt, better known as "Stan the Man," has volunteered at the thrift store since it opened in 1991.

Hatfield, who has volunteered at the shelter for more than 10 years, works between 30 to 35 hours a month, while Van Pelt works a little more than 50 hours monthly.

Hatfield provides hand written receipts to everyone that purchases something at the store.

"I put a price on everything that comes in to the Time Out Shelter," she said. "I have been doing that for the whole 10 years."

Van Pelt held the first yard sale for the shelter in 1991, and had to hold it on East Frontier Street because there was no shelter building.

"When we first opened we did not have a track record, so we could not apply for grants," Van Pelt said. "I went out and collected donated stuff."

He said he and his wife moved to Payson in the late 1980s and wanted to get involved in some way.

He said they went to a Time Out organizational meeting where volunteers were being sought.

Since then, Van Pelt has become known for donating his time and service in and around Payson.

In 1995, the Payson Chamber of Commerce honored Van Pelt as the volunteer of the year, an award, which, he said, he still cherishes.

Hatfield said she continues to volunteer at the shelter because she feels it is providing a valuable service.

"It's just a good feeling inside," she said. "It's hard to describe."

Van Pelt and Hatfield said they both know they are making a difference, especially when seeing women arrive at the shelter who have been assaulted.

"It's heart rendering," she said.

Van Pelt said its payback time for his mother who, he said, was often assaulted by his stepfather.

Hatfield has never considered stopping her work at the shelter.

"Oh, no way," she said. "Golly, I had no clue, but this is something that brings you in, and you can't lose a handle on it.

"It just comes so naturally for me to work with people."

Van Pelt said he had no inclination or thought that he would still be volunteering at the shelter 15 years after it opened.

"I was looking for a place to be involved in the community," he said. "Being strangers here, this was a way to get acquainted."

Hatfield, who also said she never thought she would still be volunteering at the shelter after 10 years, said it makes her senior years more meaningful.

"Since I am the only one who know how to do the job I do, I have been instructed not to move or die," she said.

Van Pelt, who volunteers between 13 and 14 hours a week at the shelter, said his primary job is to haul furniture in and out of the thrift store. He said he also goes out to seek donations.

Hatfield said she has donated about 31 hours a month to the shelter since 1996, partly because she likes the people she works with.

"We have more dedicated volunteers here than anywhere in town," she said.

-- To reach Michael Maresh call 474-5251 ext. 112 or e-mail mmaresh@payson.com.

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