"I think everybody has a cancer patient or somebody dying of
cancer in their family, which I do, too," Jossi said. "To me, it
[seems to be] a very common cost, unfortunately. If there's anything
we can do to help, [we should]."
The Discovery Shop operates entirely on donations. People in the
community donate whatever they can -- jewelry, clothes, odds and ends
-- and the shop sells the items at a discount , giving the proceeds
to the American Cancer Society.
"Seventy percent of the monies that we generate is for the bottom
line of cancer research," said Lucy Quintana, manager and the only
paid employee at the Discovery Shop.
Jossi is one of the store's anchors, Quintana said, with her work
cashiering, bookkeeping and helping design the racks and displays.
She also thinks the little things, such as giving other workers fresh
flower arrangements from her garden on their birthdays.
"Sumie is a great support for everything. If you need anything
done, she's there before you even think about it," Quintana said.
Other volunteers echo the sentiments of Quintana, having only the
kindest of things to say about Jossi.
"I think she's a really hard worker," said Jeanne Keef, a
Discovery Shop volunteer for five years. "She's really dedicated to
our little store here."
Adele Prepas has been volunteering at the store for six years and
has enjoyed working with Jossi since she joined in 2001.
"Sumie ... outstanding volunteer," said the former elementary
school teacher. "Very flexible, many skills, many talents. We rely
heavily upon her expertise."
That expertise may come from Jossi's work as an office manager for
a trading company after immigrating to the United States from Japan
True to form, though, Jossi doesn't really want to talk about
herself, preferring to expound about her pleasure in working at the
"Wonderful place," she said. "Wonderful place to work, wonderful
place to meet people."
She have to talk about herself -- for a while at least -- on Aug.
5, when the American Cancer Society will recognize her at its annual
The American Cancer Society Discovery Shop is located at 2600 E.
Coast Highway (near MacArthur Boulevard and PCH) and is open from 10
a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday.