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Everyday Hero: Volunteer gets crafty with sign

Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Natchez Adams County Humane Society volunteer Ilene Gill painted a sign for the humane society’s thrift store Paws for a Cause.
Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Natchez Adams County Humane Society volunteer Ilene Gill painted a sign for the humane society’s thrift store Paws for a Cause.

NATCHEZ — Ilene Gill couldn’t wait to get her paws on the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society’s thrift store and help in any way she could.

Gill has been volunteering at the Human Society and the thrift store, called “Paws for a Cause,” for longer than she can remember.

And though she’s not able to invest a lot of time and money into the shop, Gill said she is willing to help in anyway she can.

“I go in there and I donate stuff (to the shop), and I help them straighten up stuff,” Gill said. “I help with the adoption for the cats as well.”

Gill found a way she could help the first-year store gain notoriety.

“I noticed they didn’t have a sign out front and I asked if they would like me to make them a sign,” she said.

Gill does a lot of craft and woodwork as a hobby, and said she knew making a sign would be the perfect thing she could do to give back to the shop.

Gill was able to get wood donated from Atkins Handiman Lumber & Building, and paint donated from Home Hardware.

But as Gill sat with her tools in front of her, she hadn’t thought of any ideas to turn the blank slate of wood into a colorful piece of art.

“I just looked at it and I decided what to do,” Gill said. “I didn’t know what I was going to do at first, but let the creativity flow.

“It took me about two or three days to complete the sign.”

The sign Gill crafted has the shop’s name “Paws for a Cause Thrift Store” written across it in blue and red letters, and N.A.C.H.S written in green. It also features black paw prints and the shadow of a cat and dog on each side of the sign as decoration.

Gill said when her and her husband brought the sign to the thrift shop, the volunteers were excited about the artwork, and it made Gill feel good that she could contribute something that makes a difference.

Paws for a Cause volunteer Diane Hammers said she and the Humane Society are grateful for what Gill has done.

“I think it is an absolutely wonderful thing that she did for us,” Hammers said. “Gill volunteered to do this and did it at her expense and donated her time and work. We really needed a sign that said our name on it because the sign that was made for us (originally) was not big enough, it wasn’t sturdy and it flaps in the wind, so we needed one that was much sturdier.”

Gill said she took the time to make the sign because though it seems simple, the sign will be a big part of the store.

“I mainly did it for advertisement for them to let people know where the thrift store is,” she said.

The sign sits in front of the building, but must wait to be set when Paws for a Cause gets a permanent address.

“We’re most likely going to have to move out of that building, because its not big enough for everything we have,” Hammer said. “When people have garage sales, they bring by left over stuff and it piles up. It’s amazing the amount of donations we receive. We’re hoping a good Samaritan will help us find a bigger place. We’re not going to close until we find the new place.”

Gill said the thrift store is always looking for material and monetary donations, which can be sent to the former Tradewinds Consignory Building at 100 Shields Lane.

Also, if anyone has information on vacant buildings suitable for the new thrift store, call the humane society at 601-442-4001.