Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Stephanie Capolupo, Buffalo RideShare Volunteer

Stephanie Capolupo, Buffalo RideShare Volunteer

Stephanie is a volunteer for our newest service, Buffalo RideShare, a program created in partnership with Erie County Senior Services and the Salvation Army. Volunteer drivers within the program use Buffalo CarShare vehicles to pick up members of the Salvation Army's Golden Age Center and transport them to the facility 2-3 times per week to have a healthy, balanced, lunch. 

Stephanie chooses not to own a personal vehicle, and thus became interested in a Buffalo CarShare membership. When she heard that volunteers receive free membership, she thought it would be an excellent opportunity to try out the program while at the same time offering a valuable service to the community.

We were able to chat with Stephanie before her volunteer shift started, getting to know her a little better.

“I love volunteering!" she says, "The very first person I ever picked up was Buela, age 97 and sharp as a tack.” Buela usually catches a ride with this program on a weekly basis.
“I love how they are all so appreciative of the ride, they all know each other and are friends with each other. They are adorable, and I don't mind doing it at all", said Stephanie, "They explained to me how to play bingo, its the best couple hours ever, just hanging out with them in the car."

When Stephanie isn't driving her new acquaintances to or from lunch, she uses the down time to run errands for her business, Poor Girl Picker. She looks for unique vintage clothes, accessories and housewares, including original handmade items at auctions, second-hand stores, and sells them on her Etsy page or at the Peddler Flea Market at very affordable prices.

Growing up on a tight budget, Stephanie’s mother typically went shopping with Stephanie at second hand stores and thrift stores, so she's become so used to purchasing goods this way, that she very rarely buys anything firsthand.

A few years ago she decided to start selling some of her belongings for extra income. “One day, I set up a booth at the Peddler Flea Market where I sold my vintage clothes, housewares, and accessories. I liked doing this so much, I decided to keep buying to sell." She even started working with someone who does a monthly auction, and she frequently attends estates sales, and house clean-outs.

And thus, Poor Girl Picker was born. “I decided that if I was willing to give a job 100% of my time, then why shouldn't I give myself 100% of my time?" Stephanie said, referring to the time she chose to make Poor Girl Picker her full time job.

"I don't ever plan on being rich, I just want to live. Having a ton of money isn't important to me. I sold my car after coming to the decision that I could rent cars and U-Hauls when I needed to - now I've found out that I can use vehicles through Buffalo CarShare," said Stephanie.

Buffalo CarShare allows RideShare volunteers to have access to the vehicle for their own personal use during down time, so that’s when Stephanie does some of her business errands. She doesn't own her own vehicle because for her, the benefits and convenience of owning aren't worth the cost and the hassles.

“I may want to get a pick-up truck next year, an early 90's toyota pick up, but I’m not too worried about it now. In the mean time I can use the CarShare pick-up truck!” said Stephanie.

If you are interested in Stephanie's merchandise, here are the links to her Facebook page, and Etsy page.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Buffalo RideShare or have any questions on the program, feel free to contact the Buffalo CarShare office at 716-898-0850 or at

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