Pat Urnise has always found value in upcycled items. Couple that with his ability to fix things, it’s no wonder that his wife thought she found him the perfect volunteer opportunity with the TurnStyles Thrift eBay team. Turns out that she was right. Nine years later, Pat continues to be involved, serving as the eBay volunteer leader.
eBay has become a thriving part of TurnStyles. Since its inception in 2006, sales have brought in $468,000. The team expects to hit the half a million-dollar milestone by year-end. “The mission of the team is to generate needed funds to support Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas in their fulfillment of Jesus Christ’s mission to assist neighbors in need in our community,” said Pat.
On average, the eBay team sells approximately five items per day. In June, they sold a total of 154 items. They start off by identifying donated items to TurnStyles that might make good candidates for online sales. “We do an evaluation, and as part of that, we assess the item’s value and salability,” explained Pat.
The eBay team is filled with stories of the unique items they come across and the generous people they get to interact with. Pat shared a story that ended with a donation. “A lady brought a purse from us and she decided she didn’t like it, and she was going to send it back,” he said, noting that the eBay team was in for a surprise when the woman found out that the proceeds were going to Catholic Charities. “She found out we were a charity, and not only did she not return the purse, but she sent us two of her purses as donations to re-sell along with a check for $100 for Catholic Charities.”
Pat enjoys his work with the eBay team and the impact they have. “It is very rewarding to work with this group and to do what we do,” he said.
He reminds his team that the work they are doing is benefiting those served by the programs and services of Catholic Charities. “Last year we made $84,000,” said Pat. “I tell the team that is as if we collectively made an $84,000 donation to Catholic Charities.”