Thrift Store Saint

Jane Knuth is not a hero, nor does she wish to be.

Last week, some fellow Cortinians and I joined about one hundred other interested members of the Creighton community to hear Jane Knuth speak about her experiences working at a thrift store in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

She recounted stories of her daily dealings in the thrift store, describing everyday people and normal situations that have left lasting and transformative impressions on her heart. The main message she wanted her audience to leave with was that it does not take extraordinary efforts to make a difference in the lives of others. At the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store, they even discourage anyone to volunteer too often. She gives just one evening every week serving her community, and that has been enough to completely open her eyes to the struggles of the people living around her as well as the inspiring examples of hope and love that occur every day.

As a member of Cortina, Jane’s message really rang true. After all, just like Jane, each of us volunteer in the Omaha community once a week. And, just like Jane, these weekly encounters with the marginalized members of society have challenged me in ways I never would have imagined. Like Jane, I am no hero (not even close,) and the people that I interact with every week at service are normal people living normal lives, but when our paths intersect for 2 ½ hours every Monday night, we are able to learn and grow from each other, which is something to be embraced and cherished.

Interested in reading her book? Find it here.

-Hannah O’Keefe

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