Posted on October 7, 2017 by AL Greater Placer Nuggets
Written and compiled by Julie Sage
We have been blessed with having the same “sparkling” volunteer for 30 YEARS as our “Jewelry Lady”. BERTIE CAIN gives her time and energies to keeping our Assistance League Thrift Shop’s jewelry cases full, with priced attractive gems to sell. And another beautiful thing about Bertie is that she is a Hugger! The sincere kind of hugger who doesn’t let go first. She is the Captain of a crew of Assistance League volunteers that work a full day in the Thrift Shop “backroom” on the 3rd Monday of every month, pricing saleable clothing and housewares; while Bertie focuses FIRST on her box of donated jewelry items.
Bertie’s entrance to Assistance League was made through “Auburnites” (Auburn, CA) lady friends. She and our chapter’s founder, Betty Crandall, and others became friends when they volunteered for the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO). Betty had been a member of the Assistance League of Long Beach, CA chapter and proposed starting a guild in Auburn. In 1987, Bertie became one of the Charter members of the Assistance Guild of Auburn Foothills.
In Bertie’s own words about being a member of Assistance League for 30 years. “If Assistance Guild had never been organized, I would never have met all these lovely, giving and talented ladies from all over Placer County. I think being a member has made me a more thoughtful and caring person. I can see what we are doing for the community and I’m proud to say I am a member of Assistance League of Greater Placer.”
Bertie shared with me her enthusiasm for the newly formed guild’s first philanthropic program. A $2000 grant was secured from Placer Community Foundation. Assistance Guild volunteers staffed a school room at the Placer Women’s Center to help children of women from violent homes seeking refuge. Bertie relates:
“Some felt it might be a little scary, but the end result was to be with the kids and make them happy. I loved entertaining, playing and reading to the children.”
Bertie’s interest and knowledge in Antiques and Jewelry propelled her to becoming the “Jewelry Lady” from the beginning for the Assistance Guild fundraiser…a huge yard sale. Later with the opening of the guild’s new “Nifty Assistance Shoppe” in 1992, a continued slow influx of jewelry came into the shop as it began being recognized by the Auburn community. Bertie began making index cards for the jewelry for pricing and displaying.
She also started logs for signing out jewelry/antique items and logging in returned priced items. A Thrift Shop practice still used today! She knew jewelry markings so could price accordingly. If Bertie didn’t know, she would take items to Roper’s Jewelers in Auburn for guidance. She also widened her knowledge for pricing items by visiting Antique stores and attending Antique shows. Some of Auburn’s Old Town stores were always helpful and Bertie would take them a poinsettia at Christmas time as a Thank You.
Our Assistance League chapter has grown over the 30 years. In March 1987, more than 30 women formed a Guild of the National Assistance League. In March 1993, we became a Chapter and our membership now numbers over 200 women volunteers. Each of our members could be singled out for recognition for sharing their talents, energies, compassion, and service to our Placer County communities.
I chose Bertie Cain because all who know her, admire and cherish her. She is a Treasured Gem! And one of her HUGS, makes your day!
Here’s a few of our members heartfelt comments about working with Bertie.
“Bertie is so generous with her compliments and always, always gives the credit to her crew. We can do no wrong!” Gail M.
“She has a special gift. Whenever I see her, she makes me feel like I am the most important person in the world. She is so present when I talk to her.” Kathleen G.
“Bertie always has a hug and a kind word for everyone. She is 10yrs. older than I am, but is way more energetic, smarter and hard-working. She is a joy to work with.” PJ J.
“She is truly an amazing woman. Besides being our leader the third Monday, Bertie takes endless boxes of jewelry home to price. She is one of the sweetest, most caring people I’ve ever met—one in a million.” Betty F.
“Bertie has an excellent rapport with several jewelry stores in town. She gets appraisals on donated jewelry (free) and sells them broken jewelry and other items we couldn’t sell in the shop. It is because of her warm personality that they do this for her. Also, she brings them fresh homemade cookies occasionally (totally on her own).” Janet W.
“She always greets with a hug, always smiles and sends the warmest messages and sometimes even has a joke for us at lunch. Anyone who knows Bertie, knows she is the essence of the Assistance League.” Loretta R.