“Appearances really do make a difference in people's perceptions,” Loefke said. “I suppose part of me was trying to teach that through working at the Give & Take. If I could show how we could improve people's perceptions of usefulness by organization and staging, then we would be more successful as a program.”
Photo provided by Kiaran Loefke
Ganchudur Batgerel, a fall 2020 alumna who majored in supply chain, said, “She amazed me from the very first hour she started to work. She is proactive and very skillful at organizing things. She is hardworking and diligent. She made very messy things look like store shelves.
“She played a big role transforming the Give & Take into its new look. I appreciate her hard work,” Batgerel commented. “She is a great team player as well, good at listening and respectful. She treats everyone properly.”
From volunteer to employee
Loefke said she had been volunteering with the Give & Take since the time it was located behind the Hales and run by the senior missionaries. “I usually serve there every Friday. It was basically one of my hobbies. When I found out they were hiring, I was thrilled. I could actually go and make a difference and put my organizing skills to use.”
Loefke said she worked for the BYUH Sustainability Center for four months during the summer where she made changes. “When I got there, as a team, we needed a vision of what it could be like and what needed to happen,” Loefke said. “I started on one section to show what was possible, and then everyone got excited at the potential once they saw what I had in mind.”
She shared she wanted to stage their products so people could see what they could use it for in their homes. “Some items that had been there for almost a year were gone within hours once we made it look nice,” Loefke commented. “Some people wanted to come and simply look at the Christmas section and sit and read on their work breaks because of the environment we created.”
Serving the school
Loefke said one day the University called her to see if the Give & Take had supplies for TVA. “We put together at least 15 to 20 new apartment welcome boxes with complete kitchen sets and other move-in essentials.”
Onon Dalaikhuu, a sophomore from Mongolia majoring in communications, said, “I admire her talent to organize and stage things. I was amazed when she was organizing kitchen utensils. She paid attention to every single detail and separated them by their original sets.”
When BYUH President John Kauwe's house needed hangers, instead of buying them, they called the Give & Take “because they knew we would be able to help them. I could offer them a choice in not only color but style because we had it sorted properly.”
Loefke said one day the library called and asked for a paper shredder because theirs broke, and they wanted to see if her team could help them save money. Loefke said, because of all the effort her team put into staging their work area, they were able to easier help the community and school save money.
“I learned that the way things are presented makes a huge difference in people’s perceptions and how they will respect what you do,” Loefke said. “Organization also shows you are on top of things and you are running a professional organization. This can then excite others to be a part of it.”
She said some members of the community even ask if they donate to local schools and other charity programs “because we looked like we did.”
“We were able to expand our influence and lend a helping hand to people we normally would not have been able to reach. They reached out to us after hearing that we looked like a brand-new organization that knew what we were doing once we organized,” she explained.