Faces of Me Fine: Mary Angel Bastin

In our series, “Faces of Me Fine,” we highlight the dedicated people who make sure the organization achieves its mission to support critically ill children and their families at Duke, UNC, and WakeMed Children’s Hospitals. Meet Mary Angel, our Second Hope Shop manager, which is a position that her mother held before she took the helm in 2012.

January 7, 2012. Not everyone can remember their exact first day of work, but that date rolls off Mary Angel’s tongue without hesitation. That is the day she officially became manager of the Me Fine Foundation’s Second Hope Shop.

But, it certainly wasn’t her first day with Me Fine. Like her sister Caty, Mary Angel grew up supporting the organization’s mission because of her family’s closeness with Lori and Folden.

Mary Angel Bastin standing behind the Second Hope Shop counter with Me Fine Foundation's logo

Mary Angel Bastin, manger of Second Hope Shop

When asked what has surprised her the most since becoming store manager, she replied “people’s willingness to give and what they are willing to give away.” One of the clearest examples of the community’s generosity comes annually with the Angel Tree program. Me Fine has Mary Angel to thank for starting this effort back in 2008!

The Angel Tree program allows individuals, companies, schools, churches, and any interested group to put up a tree with tags identifying requested items for families hospitalized at Duke, UNC, and WakeMed Children’s Hospitals. After all gifts are collected, Me Fine hosts its annual “Hope for the Holidays” days so families can pick up their gifts, wrapping paper, tape, and stocking stuffers.

“Everyone can do one thing,” Mary Angel shared. “Angel trees give people that chance.”

Growing up in a family of eight (seven girls and one boy), Mary Angel saw her mother do exactly that: everything she could to provide for her children. She carries the same conviction with her into her role with Me Fine.

Ironically, Mary Angel had never set foot inside of a thrift store before the Second Hope Shop opened. Under her direction, the store has blossomed: increased revenues, higher quality items, and dedicated customers.

“People lined up on the sidewalk this past Black Friday. In fact, the line stretched down Highway 70. In nine hours, we were able to make nearly $700 on $2.19 shirts. That’s incredible.”

For Mary Angel and her staff, what makes the work even more meaningful is the knowledge that all sales help support families with critically ill children. She estimates that she tells the Me Fine story about 20 to 30 times each day.

Mary Angel with her mother, seven sisters, and brother

Mary Angel has been married to her high school sweetheart for 12 years. Family is a fixture for Mary Angel. In fact, she claims to spend every waking moment with her family. She is “Mimi” to her niece , a name she bears proudly.

When it comes to the Second Hope Shop, Mary Angel gives all the credit to her staff and to members of the community who support Me Fine’s mission either by donating to and/or shopping at the store.

“Everything has its purpose,” she reflected. It’s clear that, for right now, Mary Angel has found hers.

Me Fine’s Second Hope Shop is located at 5100 US Hwy 70 East in Princeton, North Carolina. You can find updates on sales and specials on the store’s Facebook page or give them a call at 919-202-0445.