Les Esmond has acted as chief cashier at Pender Re-Gift Thrift Store since May 2012, volunteering forty hours a week, fifty weeks a year. Pender Thrift Store, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pender United Methodist Church, accepts clients from government, nonprofits, and other churches for the distribution of material goods.
When Les comes to work every day, he tries to make each and every person feel better — he talks and laughs with the lonely. He has overcome computer phobia to learn two new software systems. He instructs others on how to “cashier.” He is diligent about learning the names of the customers, and if they have a minute, he regales them with a history lesson or relates a story of pride in his family of three children, two grandchildren.
What this description doesn’t tell you is that Les Esmond has battled serious health issues for over fifteen years; however, despite adversity, but he tackles life with gusto! He buys lunch for others, provides bags and paper products for the store, offers rides and picks up groceries for others at the independent senior living facility where he stays.
Maryann Weber, Executive Administrator of Pender Re-gift Thrift Store is certain that their capacity to accomplish their mission would be diminished, if not impossible without Les Esmond’s continued and diligent service.
Maryann Weber says, “My own life has been enriched by knowing him. He reminds me of everything I take for granted, and retains a positive attitude in spite of all circumstances….My favorite quote is his favorite quote, ‘In life, you will experience some pain, discomfort, and disappointment. Misery, however, is optional!’”