Next-to-New Lifetime Volunteer Awards


Since 1959, our Next-to-New shop has been run by a small staff and a large group of loyal volunteers. During the 2023 volunteer luncheon, three volunteers received Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Awards. See their stories below:

Gaye Evert
Volunteer for 30 years
I was born and raised in Austin, Texas, and am a lifelong member of St. David’s, having been baptized, confirmed, and married at St. David’s. In the Spring of 1993, a friend who volunteered at Next-to-New convinced me to give volunteer work at the shop a try. I loved it immediately! After a couple of years trying out all of the positions, I gravitated towards estate work, which I am still so dedicated to. Next-to-New has been my home away from home and part of my extended family for 30 years! 

Pam O’Conner
Volunteer for 55 years
 has been a blessing to me in many ways. I began shopping and volunteering back in the ‘60s on Lavaca Street in the first location. I worked for the State and Legislature and shopped at Next-to-New during my lunch hours, and volunteered once a month. Most of the volunteers were older, to me, now I’m one of the older ladies. Mrs. Virginia Sumners, Mrs. Barclay, Mrs. Eldon Powell, and nine others of the church took me under their wings. They taught me a lot, particularly about giving and serving. The first place was small and we used a cigar box in lieu of a cash register. We moved from the original building to another building on Lavaca Street, then to Burnet Road. We were at two different locations until our purchase, and move to 5435 Burnet Road, the old Harrell’s Hardware Store. To my knowledge, we are the only non-profit consignment shop in Austin. We share our funds equally with St. Davids for the restoration of the Historic Church and for community engagement grants to non-profit organizations. We are a blessing to many and to the community. Come join us and serve and shop - we are our best customers!

Barbara Watt
Volunteer for 56 years
My introduction to the Next-to-New shop was a phone call in 1967 from Mrs. Sumners, wife of the Rector, asking what day I would like to volunteer at the shop. ”What shop” I replied, knowing full well no one said “No” to Virginia Sumners. I picked a day and I worked with Virginia Jesson and Lillas Thaxton. The three of us worked together as long as the shop was on Lavaca. Records were kept in the back room in a huge ledger written by hand. 
The shop moved down the street on Lavaca with six parking places in the back. Many of our customers were employed downtown. The next move for the shop was to the first of three locations on Burnet Road. We rented the first two, The third was our present location which we purchased. Over the years, we had Bar-b-que Bashes for the volunteers, and first-Saturday auctions, once featuring a 1986 classic Mercedes, I have always worked at the cashier counter, preferring to interact with our customers. We didn’t have any male volunteers in the early years, but later my husband Jim volunteered when he retired. Once when the manager had to leave, Jim and I were the only people in the store. He turned and said, “Jim, you are in charge, but if you need anything, ask Barbara” Oh well!

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