Edelene MacDonald


November 08, 2000

-- Story by Deepa Bharath; photo by Greg Fry

Edelene MacDonald doesn't recall a time in her life when she wasn't

volunteering in some capacity.

And she says she can't remember ever having as much fun volunteering

as she does in the American Cancer Society's Discovery Shop in Corona del


"I first looked at this shop from across the street when I was at the


hairdresser's," said MacDonald, 58. "I liked how it looked and I walked

in. And in my first two to three trips, I was really enjoying working

with other volunteers here."

It has been more than two years since she started donating her time

and services at the shop that sells donated furniture and designer and

career clothing.

MacDonald, who spent 26 years working as a registered nurse, performs

a host of tasks, from appraising and pricing merchandise to customer

relations and negotiating with buyers. If needed, she would be cashier,


MacDonald works about eight hours a week. Her main shift is on

Saturdays, but she pitches in as required on other days as well.

Her greatest satisfaction is the sense of giving back to the

community, she said.

"My satisfaction comes from knowing that the money we make is spent

within the community here, be it for research or to give a ride to a

patient," she said.

MacDonald says she knows she and others at the store are "making a


"Sure, we didn't actually do the research," she said. "But we know we

helped make some of it happen."

Volunteering is also the best way to get to know your community, said


"Normally, I would be here yacking away with people, and every time

I'd learn something new or different about what's going on around me,"

she said.

Of course, MacDonald has made sacrifices, like golf and spending

Saturday afternoons with her husband. She still works full-time as a

nurse consultant during the week.

But she always makes time for her volunteer work.

"I'm happy I'm doing it," she said. "I wish more working ladies would

take the time to volunteer. It's worth the effort."

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