Volunteer With Us
At MRCI, volunteers have an important role. If you have an interest, skill or talent to contribute we would be happy to have you as a volunteer.
Have questions about volunteering at MRCI? Call 507-386-5600.
Volunteer opportunities for individuals are typically available during the day at any of our locations. We are excited to work with you to find an opportunity that’s a good fit for you and the people we serve.
Some roles our volunteers fill include:
• Arts instructor (music, dance, theater & more)
Activity assistant (Bingo caller, crafts, outings & more)
• Career resource (mentor, job shadow, job site tours & more)
• Retail volunteer (sorting, pricing and selling at our Thrift Shop)
• Community Connector Committees
MRCI partners with numerous colleges and universities to provide internships and service-learning opportunities for students of any major of study to interact with individuals in our programs.
Student experiences (internships/service learning, etc.) vary by location, but our goal is to align your interests with our opportunities.
For those interested in the administrative side of our organization, we also offer internships in human resources, marketing, accounting, business administration, retail management and information technology.
MRCI works with various volunteer groups to create meaningful experiences for both the people with disabilities that we serve and individuals who are generously donating their time.
We currently partner with volunteer groups who engage with individuals enrolled in our Day Services program as well as organizations who volunteer at and for our Thrift Shop.
Hidden Gems at MRCI Thrift Shop Volunteerism Spans Generations
Many 12 year olds go to the MRCI Thrift Shop to find that hidden treasure...whether it be a sweatshirt, some jewelry, or maybe decorations for their room or locker. But one 12 year old goes there for a different reason. Looking not for what she can get, but what she can give.
"I help bag the items, sort the movies and price the crafts!" says Payton Peterson. A sixth grader from St. Peter, Payton is herself a treasure, a true gem that helps MRCI's mission shine through in all she does.
"I get good vibes when I am here," she says. "I just think it's so good to help other people."
Payton first started volunteering at the MRCI Thrift Shop when she was 6 and tagged along with her grandma one day.
"All of the volunteers here just love having her around," says Payton's grandmother Kathy Lang. "She steps in to help wherever is needed."
Lang is a long-time MRCI Thrift Shop volunteer. The paraprofessional started volunteering at MRCI Thrift Shop 17 years ago. She spends a few days a week at the store. These days, she mostly handles the greeting cards.
"The people here are very inspiring," says Kathy. "Everyone is very kind and happy all the time. I knew Payton would love it here and they would love her."
Payton, whose hobbies include sewing, scrapbook, and baking...can't imagine not having volunteering in that mix as well.
"If my grandma didn't start bringing me here when I was little...well, I don't know what I would be doing today," smiles Payton. "I just like helping other people."
Lang hopes that she and Payton will have this service together for many more years to come.
"It's very rewarding," Kathy says. "I"ll keep doing it as long as I can."
It's volunteers like Payton and Kathy that are at the heart of the mission of the MRCI Thrift Shop in Mankato and Bargains in New Ulm. Both are volunteer-run retail businesses that accept donations of clothing and household items, then sells them to the public. All proceeds go to programs that support MRCI's mission of providing innovative and genuine opportunities for individuals with disabilities and disadvantages to participate in their communities.
But the financial impact is just one way the thrift shop supports MRCI, it also provides employment training opportunities for the organization's clients.
The MRCI Thrift Shop began in 1963 and currently more than 110 men, women and children regularly volunteer their time.
Additional volunteers and donations are always needed, please visit www.mrcithriftshop.org to learn how you can be a part of this impactful program.
15 Map Drive
Mankato, MN 56002-0328
Phone (507) 386-5600
Fax (507) 345-5991
103 Peavey Road
Chaska, MN 55318-2149
Phone (952) 649-5000
Fax (952) 448-5418
701 Cory Lane
Fairmont, MN 56031
Phone (507) 238-4388
Fax (507) 238-4389
2100 North Broadway
PO Box 894
New Ulm, MN 56073
Phone (507) 233-2700
Fax (507) 354-8146
15191 Boulder Court
Rosemount, MN 55068
Phone (651) 423-8900
Fax (651) 423-8939
5244 Valley Industrial Blvd. S
Shakopee, MN 55379
Phone (952) 465-0450
Fax (952) 465-0490