Exchange Student Gives Back to the Community

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Monica Rondena, from Magenta, Italy, arrived in Northern California as part of CHI’s Au Pair program in 2015.  Monica joined host mom Elizabeth, where she helps care for Elizabeth’s three children – Chas, Katherine, and Christophe, ages 10-13.  In her spare time, Monica volunteers at the Tiburon Thrift Shop once a week.  That means that over the course of her two-year program, Monica has volunteered for about 300 hours!  In recognition of this achievement, Monica was recently honored at a thank you party for volunteers at the Tiburon Art and Garden Center.

Monica likes volunteering at the Thrift Shop because she loves clothes and finds it fascinating how some things have no value to some, but so much value to others.  She loves finding the beauty in different objects.  She also thinks that thrift shops are a great way to recycle household objects and clothes without damaging the earth.

In addition to spending time with Chas, Katherine and Christophe, Monica cares for the family’s Great Pyrenees puppy, Bruno, as well as two cats and several chickens.  It’s the perfect arrangement because Monica is a big animal lover.  She even collects fresh eggs for breakfast every morning.

Monica joined the Au Pair program because she loves children and wanted the opportunity to work and travel at the same time.  Unfortunately, her program is almost over, and she returns home later this month.  When she gets home, Monica will start saving money to take her next great adventure.  We know she’ll get the most out of wherever she travels next!

Monica and Bruno (the Great Pyrenees “puppy”!

Monica and Tiburon Thrift Shop Manager Mary Grant

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