Our Vendors 

Jimmy van Voorst: Back in the game

Fri, May 25, 2012

Jimmy has been a vendor with StreetWise for five weeks. He has a regular walking route and a few business locations where he sells the magazine.

When I asked Jimmy what he likes about being a vendor, he told me that StreetWise saved his life. He was about to start pan handling and had even written a sign to hold. Then he heard about the opportunity he could have at StreetWise and came in for training.

Like many vendors, Jimmy worries about the weather. When it is cold or rainy, buyers are in a bad mood or in a hurry. Vendors spend hours at a time outside and worry about getting sick or even getting frost bite! In the summer it is hard to stay cool and hydrated.

Jimmy is a friendly, casual guy. He likes to talk to his customers and finds that casual greetings are the best way to start conversations. Then Jimmy likes to let his customers talk about what they are interested in. He is happy when he gets a smile from a customer or from someone passing on the street. A good joke really makes the day more enjoyable as far as Jimmy is concerned. “I like to spread joy and be joyful” is the way he puts it.

“StreetWise has really put me back in the game. Sale or no sale I’m in there!” Jimmy says. He wishes his customers could know that he hopes this is a temporary situation. What Jimmy really wants to do is get his CDL license back. He used to drive a big truck but he needs to pay back some parking ticket fines. Selling the magazine for StreetWise will help him accomplish this goal and help out with current expenses.

I got to know Jimmy because he participates in our writing workshop. He is a pleasure to have in the group and has a great attitude.

Look for Jimmy selling StreetWise on the street and give him a big smile if you see him.

Written by: Marcie Bearman
StreetWise Contributor

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