Soroptimists thank volunteer for helping hand

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Members of the Soroptimist International of Whitefish last week honored volunteer Ruth Neff, center, for her dedication to the Thrift Haus. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

No matter the weather, Ruth Neff can often be found working outside the Whitefish Soroptimist’s Thrift Haus store. Neff, who volunteers for the Soroptimist International of Whitefish even though she is not a member of the group, sorts, organizes and prices the large items that are for sale in front of the shop.

The Soroptimist members recently took a few minutes out of a busy Wednesday afternoon to thank her for her support with a small surprise gathering.

“Even in cold temperatures she’s out there straightening, cleaning and pricing,” said Bonnie Baker with the group. “She’s taken it upon herself to handle it. We’ve all fallen in love with her.”

Members gathered in the back room at the Thrift Haus calling Neff to join them.

“We have been inspired by you,” said Lynn Grossman.

Sue Harding presented Neff with a golden bucket labeled “Ruth’s Tools.” Inside was a hammer, screwdriver and scissors all wrapped in golden tape and labeled with her name. They also presented Neff with a pair of homemade mittens and a string to attach her mittens to her coat — she’s been known to misplace her mittens a time or two.

“It doesn’t matter how cold it is she’s out there lining up stuff outside,” said Harding. “When it’s thawing she’s asking for a tool to chop up the ice to open up the drains in front.”

For roughly 15 years Ruth Neff along with her husband Sam organized and ran, along with the help of other volunteers, an annual fundraiser yard sale at their home for Doctors without Borders and International Rescue Committee. In 2016 they turned over the sale to the Soroptimist International of Whitefish.

Soroptimist International’s mission is to improve the lives of girls and women. The Whitefish club raises funds through sales at the Thrift Haus.

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