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Success Stories: St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

We love a good success story! St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store is a great example of an inclusive workplace in Kamloops that is working to make the community a better place. They employ several people with developmental disabilities with the help of SMART Options’ free supported employment services.

St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store’s Experience with Inclusive Hiring

St. Vincent Thrift Store in Kamloops collects gently used items to be sold at a reasonable price, and gives back to the community in many ways. For example, they have a kitchen that offers free breakfast a few times each week, they have cooked for fire evacuees, they have a help office where people can come see them and explain what they need and they will do their best to help them, and they donate money to help pregnant women in need. They’ve been a local Kamloops staple for many years, and are well-loved in the community.

Caroline King, Store Manager at St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store heard about SMART Options many years ago. Our wonderful employee, Mirka, came by to introduce herself and the company and it was the start of a beautiful and long-lasting relationship that is still going strong today.

If you run a business in Kamloops, you might just see us pop in to say hello sometime, too!

“St. Vincent’s has a focus on the health and well-being of the community; this seemed like something that was a natural fit for our organization,” said Caroline.

That was 20 years ago, and SMART Options and St. Vincent Thrift Store have been working together ever since!

“SMART Options has been working with our organization for over 20 years and we have

loved every minute of it. We have enjoyed seeing young people excel at their God-given abilities

and, in turn, have gained new friends along the way,” said Caroline.

“Employing someone with a diverse ability has been a very positive experience for our organization.”

We love seeing local Kamloops businesses and organizations benefit from hiring someone with disabilities, just as much as our SMART Options employees benefit from having a job they enjoy. We work hard to create mutually beneficial relationships between employers and employees with thoughtful job placements, recruitment, training, and retention services—all free of charge for employers.

“The biggest benefit of hiring someone with a diverse ability is having someone who is excited

to be at work and excited to be part of a team. It’s also great to have a support person available

when needed,” said Caroline.

“Our employees over the years have improved our workplace by teaching us patience and

inclusivity,” added Caroline. “Brett is a hard worker; always willing to do his job with his best foot forward. Sharon is a joy! Sharon is always cheerful and brings out the best in us all with her kindness and smile.”

We love hearing these positive testimonials from Kamloops employers! But it’s also understandable that employers might have questions about hiring someone with diverse abilities, or feel unsure about how to go about the process. That’s where SMART Options comes in.

“Any concerns we have had since hiring through SMART Options have always been addressed perfectly by the support workers,” said Caroline. "I would tell anyone who asks that they should really consider Smart Options and persons with developmental disabilities for employment. We are very blessed to have a working relationship with Smart options and look forward to

our continued success.”

We’re so glad that St. Vincent Thrift Store has enjoyed this relationship as much as we have, and that they love their employees as much as their employees love their jobs!

Want to hear another heartwarming success story? Meet Dawn, a self-employed woman with diverse abilities and client of SMART Options who is brightening people’s days while keeping their spaces nice and clean.

Want to learn more about how SMART Options can help solve your hiring challenges and bring more diversity to your workplace? Get in touch!


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