Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago

Employee Spotlight - Lavetta Stevenson

Lavetta Stevenson, thrift stores dispatcher/office manager, celebrates 20 years of employment with SVdP 

Lavetta Stevenson

Lavetta and her husband of 17 years have three children, a son who is a purple heart veteran, another son, a minister and electrician, and her daughter, a social worker; and 15 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

What is your primary role at SVdP?
My primary role is working with the warehouse manager and drivers making sure that items are picked up from and delivered to the stores. I also schedule home pickups with donors and assist the stores and warehouse director with day to day operations.

What do you like best about working for SVdP?
Interacting with members from our conferences and fulfilling our mission in helping those that are less fortunate. I get satisfaction in seeing people receive items that they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford especially from those who are so appreciative. I also enjoy talking to donors on the phone and sometimes get the opportunity to minister to those who need comfort. That is most satisfying.

What makes the SVdP thrift stores different from other thrift stores?
We are different than other thrift stores because first of all, no other store has an emergency voucher program. Second, we make an extra effort to ensure that our stores are clean and fresh. Many customers say we do not smell like a thrift store. We also have a family atmosphere and are kind to all. Last but not least, we care about the items that are put on our sales floor. You might say we are the Macy's of the thrift store world!  

Lavetta Stevenson QuoteWhat's the most unusual thing you've seen donated?
We received 4 to 5 coffins as donations. And as fate should have it, one of our employees passed away and one of the coffins was donated to her family for her funeral. On a happier note, we once had a Jaguar automobile donated.

What are the most popular selling items?
Clothing, bric-brac, and furniture.

Do you feel you are making a difference in helping people in need?
Yes I do, because we service the whole person not just for clothing, linen and furniture but for their moral and emotional being.

What do your co-workers say about you?
I am a likeable person and I get along with everyone. But I am a person who goes strictly by the book which irritates people when they can't get their way.

How would you describe yourself?
I am a God fearing person, kind and considerate, happy and content.

What strengths and/or skills do you bring to your work?
I went to college for business administration and have always worked in customer service. I now have 40 years of experience! 

What have you learned from your experience working at SVdP?
That every day is a new day and a new experience. The bible says to take one day at a time. I've learned that you must always be ready and prayed up.

Learn more about our thrift stores here.