Each year we present the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award at the Volunteer Manitoba Awards. We look forward to this day because it gives us a chance to recognize one of our volunteers and the impact their work has had on the community, as well as celebrate volunteerism throughout Manitoba.
A number of organizations we worked with this year nominated their Spark volunteer and wished to recognize them for their fantastic leadership and coordination, the outcome and impact of the match on the organization’s work, the depth and quality of their expertise, and their commitment to doing pro bono work for a stronger Winnipeg.
For the months of March and April, until the the awards night, we are celebrating these nominees for the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award, and their contributions to their community through a series of volunteer profiles.
Today we are profiling Marcel Kreutzer.
A love letter to the store and its people… with a little bit of marketing mixed in.
Located at Spence and Sargent, Thrive Thrift Shop is the social enterprise of Thrive Community Support Circle that “aims to empower families and individuals by providing volunteer opportunities where individuals can learn employment, social and life skills and gain work experience.”
Through the volunteer training and retail shop, Kristy Muckosky, the Thrift Store Manager, has created a space where volunteers, shop regulars, and community members don’t just work side-by-side but come together to care for and support each other.
Kristy saw this unique community and wanted to showcase it somehow. She also wanted to increase the store’s awareness within Winnipeg. To achieve both goals, Kristy came up with the idea to do a video that promoted the store and showcased its people and colour.
Think of it as a love letter to the store and its people… with a little bit of marketing mixed in.
Now, video matches are not common for Spark. While we have done a couple in the past, we haven’t made those matches in a while due to their heavy time commitment and complexity.
But, this time was different.
We found a volunteer, Marcel Kreutzer, who knew Kristy from working in the film industry. He was intrigued by the project, believed in the store’s mission, and wanted to reconnected with an old friend. Plus, his decade of working in various positions in the film industry on hundreds of film and television projects made him the perfect fit to take on the project.
The first match meeting between Kristy and Marcel was filled with catching up, but the pair eventually got to work and began working on an plan. Eventually a storyboard took form, logistics were worked out, and Kristy and Marcel were ready to begin filming.
On a bright sunny Saturday a group of volunteers came together at the store to film. Throughout the shoot a few shop regulars also popped in to to say hello and check-out the action. At the end of the day the filming was complete, but the biggest piece, the editing, still needed to be tackled. Marcel spent a couple of months piecing the elements together to create a cohesive story, taking care to highlight all of Thrive’s unique features, including Maggie the cat.
When Marcel was done he sent it to Kristy, who upon viewing it said “it is a short but beautiful piece and we were thrilled by it.”
Kristy uploaded it to YouTube and immediately began promoting it on Thrive’s social media pages.
The video has since garnered over 10,000 views.
The number of views is outstanding but more importantly, the video “let Winnipeg know that they can donate their household items to our store so that we can offer them to the community and the community saw the video and found a new and affordable place to shop.” Kristy added the bonus outcome of having a “handful of people sign-up [to volunteer] by seeing the video.”
The video was a huge success. It accomplished its goals and then some- it brought awareness to the store (driving both donations and customers), highlighted the volunteers and life and the store, and encouraged others to sign-up as volunteers for the store.
You can watch the video here.
Thank you Marcel for your skill and talent in leading this (rare) Spark project!