Q&A with the Listen Center

Kid Stuff magazine sends out a student reporter to interview a local nonprofit, business or person.

By Cameron Moote

I’m interviewing Lisa Saturley, who works at the Listen Center in Lebanon, not only to see what it is like to work at a nonprofit but also to see what it is like to help those in need.

Q. How was the Listen Center created?

A. In 1972, a group decided they would build a community garden and a food co-op, which quickly turned into a thrift store. This group also knew that some people needed help paying their bills, so if someone came in and said, “I need help; they are about to turn off my water” they would go to the till and take money out and give it to them. They would say, come volunteer with us sometime if you can.

Q. How does the whole system work?

A. People bring stuff in that their kids no longer use or have grown out of. It must be in good condition to accept. We don’t accept large electronics but tablets that are functional are acceptable and able to be sold after being tested. We have a total of four stores: three thrift stores that sell clothing and household goods and one that sells furniture. All the money we bring in from the stores goes back into our programs, staff and the stores themselves.

Q. Are there opportunities to volunteer at the Listen Center?

A. Our age group is 15 and up without an adult or parent. The parent must sign a permission slip to volunteer. Sometimes we work with the Sacred Heart Church to run programs.

Q. Why did you decide to work here?

A. The job I had before this was coordinating and scheduling staff. Here I coordinate and schedule volunteers. I’ve always liked helping those in need and I like working with the volunteers more. I also get holidays off, which is amazing.

Q. What is it like to work at the Listen Center?

A. It’s very busy. Every day is different; we never know who is going to come in as an unscheduled client in need. It’s nice to be able to help people who need it.

Q. Do you work full time here?

A. Yes, we have seven full-time people and two part-time. We are hiring more part time in the stores. We rely a lot on volunteers, which bring in more money for kids’ programs.

Q. In the past, I have received a chance to go to a summer camp from one of Listen’s programs. Can you tell me a little more about how it works?

A. Summer camp scholarships are awarded to qualifying families. We get recommendations from schools and agencies, like DCF, that think our programs would benefit that certain kid.

Cameron Moote is a student at Lebanon Middle School. He likes to play the piano.



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