I am RIFA – Becky White

Get to know Becky White, a member of RIFA’s Board of Directors and a faithful volunteer in the RIFA Thrift Store! If you’ve been in the Thrift Store, chances are you’ve seen her volunteering – stocking the store, ringing up purchases, and helping wherever there is a need. Becky helps further our mission in so many ways, and we are thrilled to share about her and her heart for RIFA.

Twelve years ago, Becky moved to West Tennessee to enter the role of Plant Manager at LyondellBasell. It was through her work at LyondellBasell that she first learned of RIFA. She said, “The company did a lot of things in the community, mainly for nonprofits. The people who had been at the plant already knew about RIFA, so it was just a matter of educating me. Once I understood RIFA’s mission, it was easy to get on board [with the mission] and be a supporter.” 

Over the years, Becky’s involvement with RIFA has only deepened. In addition to serving at RIFA through LyondellBasell’s philanthropy work, Becky said that her passion for RIFA really began when she was serving on a committee with United Way of West Tennessee. “I was part of the committee that looked at how to make a recommendation to allocate the funds to the organization. I was assigned to RIFA. That’s when I came out here,” she explained. “I sat down with Lisa [Tillman]. I interviewed her. She gave me a tour of the place. I was so impressed. It’s so much bigger than I think people realize. I was very impressed with the management and how well it’s run.”

Becky joined RIFA’s Board of Directors shortly after retiring in 2021. Quickly after she joined the board, its Executive Committee met with the board members to discuss RIFA’s ministries so that each member could select one to be involved in. “I picked the Thrift Store because who doesn’t love a good thrift store? Since then, I’ve been working in the Thrift Store, and I love it.” For over a year, Becky has volunteered faithfully in the Thrift Store, currently serving in it for two afternoons a week. She is known to serve even more often when asked, filling in for entire days when there is a need. “It’s no problem at all,” she said, always happy to fill in and help.

In addition to volunteering in the Thrift Store, Becky has volunteered in the annual Pack the Bus event and has served on several task forces as a board member. One task force that Becky has served on looked into different ways that RIFA could offer a benefits package to employees. “That group was able to come up with what I thought was a really innovative solution. From what I’ve heard from Shaun and Lisa, it’s been well received, and the employees appreciate having some options for benefits. It’s affordable for both the employees and for RIFA.” She also served on the Canstruction task force in 2022 and is serving again this year. “That was a lot of fun – getting to talk to people and tell them about Canstruction and how they can support the event. I really enjoyed that.”

When asked if she had any stories that she’d like to share from her time at RIFA, Becky spoke about her passion for the Thrift Store ministry. “The thing I like about the Thrift Store is that it’s a community,” she said. “You see that in the customers. There are people that are there every day, every week, every month. I think it’s a safe place for them. I think a lot of them are either homeless or don’t have a good home environment, so it’s a place they can come and they can be treated respectfully. The staff and volunteers know everyone by name. It’s just a good place for them to be.”

“I see the kindness of the people there,” Becky continued. “The people who work there and volunteer there are so generous, and the customers are generous too. I see customers doing things for other customers all the time, helping them out if they don’t have enough cash or whatever they may need. It’s just such a nice place for people to feel like part of a group.”

It is such a gift to have Becky as part of RIFA’s Board of Directors, the Thrift Store volunteer base, and our organization as a whole! We are honored that she shares her zeal and steadfastness with us.


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