LAKE CHAPALA REVIEW
LOVE IN ACTION CHILDREN'S CENTER
CENTRO AMOR EN ACCIÓN
JULY 2012

LOVE IN ACTION BAZAR: SHOPING AND TRAINING

[LiA Bazar Opening: 2009]

The Bazar at the Love in Action has become an important part of the Center’s operations. It began with help from the Rotary Clubs of Ajijic and of Catalina in Tucson. Three garages at the Center in Chapala were renovated and clothing racks and a cash register provided. The goal was not only to raise funds for the Center, but also to teach girls residing at the shelter to learn retail and personal skills.

Since opening nearly three years ago, new shelving, racks, wire mannequins and signage has been added. Partnerships with Mia’s Boutique in Ajijic have brought in nearly 80% of goods available.

Currently, the Bazaar is staffed by volunteer Coordinator, Mary Ann Molinari; Assistant Manager, a young woman from the community; and three young girls from the Center. In addition to a small wage, the girls receive coupons toward merchandise as a reward for good performance. Training more girls is planned.

The Bazar has been successful in both raising funds and training Center young women. Employees sign a contract outlining their tasks and responsibilities. The skills they acquire are transferable to many occupations. They learn to sort, price and arrange merchandise, the use of the cash register and display of items. They also must record daily sales, keep the store clean, and re-shelve clothing neatly. The girls are often asked for their input, encouraging more ownership in their work.

Good communication is stressed; treating all customers respectfully by greeting and thanking them, and helping them to find merchandise. Staff must handle returns and exchanges politely, and deal with sometimes discourteous customers. These skills contribute to the girls’ self-confidence.

Drop in to see the Bazar in action at the Chapala address below. The Bazar is always looking for more donations and shoppers including clothing, household goods and more!

If you want to learn more, take a tour or volunteer at Love in Action, contact Kari at volunteers@loveinactioncenter.org.

[red line graphic]

Chapala Review Columns