Each week, Dawn Krueger can be found in United Way’s Career Closet, arranging shirts and ties, as well as skirts and tops and shoes in a store-like setting. Dawn’s care and commitment to making this a welcome and important part of many people’s job searches is evident in her volunteerism.

To Dawn, helping in the community started more regularly when she retired six years ago. Seeking to provide structure to her days and social interaction, she was drawn to Faith in Action, where she delivered groceries weekly from The Neighbors’ Place to seniors who could not get out of the house easily. Delivering to a blind woman who alphabetized her canned goods, with Dawn’s help, gave her a chance to learn how others meet challenges.

Her love of fashion and outfitting led her to the Career Closet at United Way, as well as pricing clothing and running the register at Dime and Dollar. She also helps send out her church newsletter and assists as a Friend of the Library at book sales.

Seeing people come into the United Way Career Closet with their head down, not really knowing how to choose clothing for an interview or the first weeks on a new job gives her a welcome challenge. As she gives them outfits to try on and they choose some, she sees them stand a little taller and gain confidence to move ahead in life.

Many share their stories of hardship with her, such as a woman last winter who was living in her car with two dogs. Dawn said it is so rewarding and she loves helping people feel more prepared to take steps to get a job or keep one.

She encourages others to volunteer. “It feels good to help people and then see the people feel good about themselves,” Dawn said.

Source: United Way of Marathon County