Organization pairs volunteers with small business owners

As part of the monthlong "Season's Givings" series, Kitty Felde reports on SCORE, an organization that pairs volunteers with small business owners.

Kitty Felde: I'm Kitty Felde with Season's Givings.

Cynthia Jamin: This dress is reversible, this skirt is reversible, and there's three different contrasting prints on it. I also have a dress that they're cutting for me today which is called the wings dress.

Felde: Cynthia Jamin of Glendale is the owner of a new sportswear company for children called TwirlyGirl.

Jamin: I have two little girls at home, and two years ago I just took a sewing class. One thing led to another, where other mothers were looking at my stuff that I was creating and wanting it. And that's kind of how it started.

Felde: But Jamin needed help to grow her company beyond her living room. So she contacted SCORE.

Jerry Earle: SCORE is an organization and our mission is to help small businesses in America get started.

Felde: Jerry Earle had been in the "rag" business for more than half a century.

Earle: A friend of mine was involved with SCORE, and we played racquetball together and he asked me what I was doing in quote-retirement-unquote. And I said, "Well, really not very much." And he said, "Why don't you join SCORE as a counselor?"

Felde: That was six years ago. Since then, Jerry Earle's counseled more than 400 small businesses, and became a business mentor to Cynthia Jamin.

Jamin: I would call him up and just say, "Hey, what do I do in this situation? I'm trying to get more reps, and how do I angle the commission?" Just bare bones stuff that I had no knowledge about. They all give their knowledge freely. Literally. And it's invaluable.

Earle: There's a reward to doing this on a volunteer basis from somebody like Cynthia because it's like tagging along as she makes progress. She's been more fun than most of them, to be honest. Her personality, her enthusiasm, her passion for what she's doing, and the utter complexity of what she bit off to chew.

Jamin: I think for them to give their time is a way of them helping out the next generation of people who are going to benefit like they did. They're valuable. They're valuable resources. We don't value our elderly enough in this society, and it's really given me a huge appreciation for their knowledge and their wisdom.

Felde: You don't have to be retired to volunteer as a SCORE counselor. Just send them your resume. You can contact them at scoreLA.org

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