When Fred and Nancy Okun of Basking Ridge, NJ, attended Full Circle, the annual celebration of Matheny’s Arts Access Program, this past November, they didn’t know they were going to be recruited as volunteers at the Second Chance Shop, a thrift shop run by Matheny’s auxiliary group, The Friends of Matheny. But they happened to bump into Linda Horton, a friend from Peapack who is on Matheny’s Board of Trustees and also manages the shop. The rest is history.
Nancy Okun now volunteers as a salesperson one Thursday a month, and, since Monday is the only day of the week that the shop accepts merchandise donations, Fred Okun comes to the shop every Monday to help collect and unload the clothing, books and knicknacks that local residents drop off.
Nancy Okun is a retired pharmacist, “but my repressed desire,” she admits, “was always to have an antiques store. So, maybe this is good training.” Fred Okun is also retired, from a career at GE Healthcare. Helping out at the shop, he says, “gives you a good feeling.”
The Friends of Matheny has raised more than $3 million since its formation in 1983. Last year, the Second Chance Shop earned more than $88,000.