Written by Nancy Crawley
The Chinese vase artfully displayed next to a silk scarf and handmade beads. Holiday cards and bonsai plants set to catch your eye.
Daryl Mick, 66, helps craft those oh-so-tempting displays at the Gardens gift shop. Twice a week, he’s there, unpacking boxes and ringing up customers, all to make sure the shop is revenue-producing hit with visitors piling off tour buses and local families looking for unique gifts.
It’s all old hat for Daryl who’s spent his career in merchandising. After 44 years with retailer giant Meijer Inc., the Grand Rapids native retired in 2013. Shortly after, he found his niche in a way that so many others have – through another volunteer encouraging him.
He was helping at the Gilda’s LaughFest fundraiser when a friend working with him suggested he’d be a natural for the Gardens gift shop.
She was right. “It’s good fit for me,” he said. “I like working with the people, setting up displays and helping with the pricing.”
He also pitches in on special events like “Butterflies are Blooming” and the holiday gift show – “I worked 25 hours in two and a half days,” he marveled after the gift show.
Now, he’s the one encouraging friends and family to join the Gardens’ volunteer ranks. “I plan to be here as long as I can.”
To explore volunteering, visit meijergardens.org/involved/volunteer/, or contact Tom Hoving at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-974-5221. Volunteer orientation sessions are set for Dec. 7, 2016, and Feb. 7 and April 11, 2017, starting at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.