Meet EveryStep Giving Tree Volunteer Catherine Wilson

Catherine Wilson

Longtime EveryStep Giving Tree volunteer Catherine Wilson says the thing she likes best about her work at the thrift store is the people — both her colleagues and customers. A nine-year volunteer at EveryStep Giving Tree, you’re most likely to see Catherine greeting customers and checking them out at the register on Wednesday afternoons.

“I have always enjoyed community volunteering, so when I married my husband, Steve Peterson, and moved to Des Moines, I began looking for opportunities,” says Catherine. “Initially, I also volunteered at the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and Iowa Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.”

Catherine enjoys helping all customers find their treasures, but has a special fondness for young people buying furniture and kitchen goods for their first apartments. “Their stories and excitement are so refreshing!”

When Catherine is not volunteering at EveryStep Giving Tree, she finds time to shop there. “I frequently purchase goods at the store and my current favorite is the Graco Pack & Play for my soon-to-be-expected great grandson. Other favorites are our Food Saver vacuum sealer and our walnut display cabinet. And BOOKS! It is a rare occurrence to leave without at least one book,” says Catherine.

Merchandise at EveryStep Giving Tree is always cleaned and clothing is pressed before it is arranged in attractive boutique-style displays throughout the store. Catherine says that care and attention don’t go unnoticed. “The ambiance of EveryStep Giving Tree is very welcoming. As a store we are frequently complimented on our cleanliness, our displays and the lack of “thrift-store smell.”

Catherine and her husband live in Windsor Heights and frequently travel to visit their children in Montezuma, Iowa and Minneapolis. As retirees, they love to travel, hike and explore with their many siblings and cousins.

EveryStep Giving Tree is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers who can commit to at least four hours a week. To learn about the many volunteer opportunities at EveryStep Giving Tree, please email store manager Michele Bronson or call 515-270-2414. Volunteer roles Include:

  • Clothing steamer.
  • Fitting room attendant.
  • Clothes washer.
  • Clothing straightener.
  • Pricer.
  • Back door greeter (to accept donations).
  • Dish washer.

Purchases and donations at EveryStep Giving Tree support EveryStep, a nonprofit organization serving Iowans since 1908. Through more than 30 programs and services, our professional team offers education to young moms; assistance to immigrants and refugees; wellness services in communities; in-home care to people who are ill, injured or facing the end of life; and compassionate support to families during times of grief and loss.

If you or someone you know is struggling to find the support they need, please contact EveryStep at 515-558-9946 or complete the commitment-free, confidential “Find Care” form here. EveryStep staff will follow up with a phone call to answer your questions and provide help.