MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Arc’s Value Village in New Hope is often busy. Donations get sorted in the back fast and end up out on the floor for shoppers.
The organization helps those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, but it’s one volunteer who is often spotted for going above and beyond, a man whose entire life has been dedicated to service.
That’s what makes Rich Vosepka this week’s Minnesotan to Meet.
Arc’s Value Village thrift store and donation center in New Hope gives back every time doors open to shoppers for the 15,000 items that arrive every single day.
On Mondays and Fridays, Vosepka has given volunteer hours to the organization for 15 years.
“I feel better about myself when I’m giving those hours,” Vosepka said. “Many years I get more than 300 hours.”
During his time in the store, Vosepka is known to always have a smile on his face, as a consummate joker.
“Hey Jamie,” Vosepka said, “will I lose my volunteer status if I charge for autographs in the front lobby?”
He and other volunteers work at sorting, fixing electronics and then putting goods on the floor.
Vosepka has been making contributions his whole life. He was a U.S. Marine who spent his career in law as an assistant U.S. Attorney, a federal prosecutor.
He married his love, Judy, 48 years ago. She was a school teacher who now also volunteers at a local hospital. Their only fights center around a specific work-related topic.
“If we have a continuing theme, it’s about me accumulating things that need to be re-donated.” Vosepka said. “Occasionally something catches my eye.”
You can’t blame him, with nearly 3,000 volunteer hours under his belt, even if the items end up back on the shelves.
You may not know, but Arc’s Value Village offers a personal shopper service. They’ll help you with your look, while a volunteer like Vosepka helps you find any new houseware or electronic that comes in.