Cresencio Castillo Jr.
Your name: Cresencio Castillo Jr.
Your Role at Volunteers of America Michigan: Assistant Warehouse Manager
How did you find out about Volunteers of America Michigan? I was kinda at a standstill, so I wanted to try something different. The place I worked at closed down and they told us the week it was closing. Which, funny enough, it is the bingo hall right next to the southside (Lansing) store. It was just one of those things where I knew a couple of people who worked for VOAMI so I applied there. I kinda had an idea of what the organization was about, but that’s how it started. I just needed the job, but then it turned out to be a really great opportunity. I loved learning about all the different programs and what we really do.
After 13 years, what has been one of your largest takeaways? Honestly, just really seeing all the different programs we have. I’ve been here a long time and I’m still learning new things about the organization. One of the things that I like the most about working here is when I started out as a driver, I had so many interactions with our thrift donors. It was really cool because I met so many different people. They’re very grateful, they’re very respectful to me, just because of the organization I represent and what we stand for. It is really awesome to get all this different feedback from people and just experience that interaction. You get to know people on a first name basis and sometimes you do develop friendships.
I'd get a lot of regulars. A lot of the time they’d come out and have a conversation with me as I was loading the truck. I’d get Christmas cards set out for me, emails, you know just different things. They were really cool and they got to know me. That was awesome, it has been a great experience.
Now that you are the Assistant Warehouse Manager, do you still get to go out on the road? Yeah, I still do a lot of driving even though I’m the supervisor; I like to do a lot of the hands on work. For one, we’re a small crew, but at the same time I wouldn’t expect anything from my staff that I wouldn’t do myself. So, I do a lot of hands on, I still do a lot of driving. Unfortunately, I don’t get as much interaction with the donors, but I still get to spread the VOAMI name.
Is there anything you want to share about your experience at Volunteers of America Michigan? Volunteers of America Michigan is a great place to work. Because of the different positions available, whether you are looking to move up or not, there's a lot of different things you can get a lot of hands-on training for. Different things to learn and experience, you can learn the ins and outs of the way the organization works so then you start to develop new ideas and new things you can introduce to your team. Overall, it’s a good place, a good foundation for a lot of different things.