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July 2021 Volunteer of the Month - Julie Mooney

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

United Way of Greater Yankton’s The Clothing Closet offers community members who are struggling to make ends meet the opportunity to receive free quality clothing in a dignified and welcoming space. Since its inception as a United Way program in 2019, The Clothing Closet has met the needs of over 2,700 individuals, distributing 32,042 items of donated clothing. This impact would not be possible without the generosity and dedication of community volunteers who contribute their time each week organizing donations and serving clients.

Yankton community member Julie Mooney has been serving as a volunteer with The Clothing Closet since 2020 and was recently recognized for her efforts as United Way’s July Volunteer of the Month.

United Way Program Coordinator, Kiersten Hansen, nominated Mooney sharing, “Julie is a wonderful asset to The Clothing Closet and a great example of a volunteer that has a busy schedule, but still finds time to do what she can to help. In addition to organizing donations and serving clients, Julie is also an outstanding advocate of The Clothing Closet mission, sharing our needs and encouraging others to support our program. We are very fortunate to have Julie as a volunteer and are thrilled to recognize her!”

We asked Julie to share more about her extraordinary volunteer efforts.

I have lived in the Yankton area since 2004 and began volunteering after we arrived, and I became a stay-at-home mom for the first time. It was important for me to get out in the community, so I initially started volunteering at my kids’ elementary school each week; and then I got involved in United Way’s Heart Club Committee and our church.

I continue volunteering because I have the time, and at the end of each day I like to know that I’ve done a little good in our world. And sometimes that one good thing is as simple as taking the time to have a conversation with someone or affirming someone through a quick text message.

I volunteer at The Clothing Closet with distributions and sorting; music ministry at First United Methodist Church, and on the Board of Directors for the SDSU Alumni Association.

Volunteer work is enjoyable because of the people I’ve met. Working together for a common goal can be a great way to develop relationships with people.

My best volunteer experience was coordinating members of the Yankton Jackrabbit Club for this spring’s Jacks Give Back. It is an annual week designated for SDSU alumni and friends to give back time, energy, and talents to their community. The Clothing Closet benefited from three groups on three separate days who stepped up to help manage items received from a successful clothing drive.

The advice I would give to those thinking about getting out there and volunteering in their communities is: You’ll always feel better at an end of a day when you’ve helped someone vs spending that day focused on yourself.

To learn more about local volunteer opportunities or to nominate someone for United Way’s Volunteer of the Month award, please email or call United Way of Greater Yankton at (605) 665-6766.

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