Minister of the Month – Lina Šuplinska

Posted by theministry on 11th March 2020

Meet Minister of the Month Lina, who greets humans and monsters from all over the world in her role as Saturday Shopkeeper. During her time volunteering with Ministry of Stories, Lina has not only become an expert in the essential skills of harvesting snot and grinding fairies into dust, but has found a place that feels like home.

Name: Lina.

Volunteer role: Saturday Shopkeeper.

Hail from: Riga, described as a very haunted place on the cover of a detective story I once almost bought.

Favourite story and why:

It’s very hard to choose one. There are so many fantastic books out there! I really loved Convenience Store Woman. It’s a wonderful story of self-discovery, acceptance and finding your place in the world that is trying to change you. It’s funny, it’s tragic, it’s heartwarming. What else can you ask for?

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I work in the office during the working week and then I morph into Shopkeeper on Saturdays. Beside Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, I love reading, travelling and falling from heights i.e sky diving, base and bungee jumping.

Why did you decide to volunteer with Ministry of Stories?

I found Ministry of Stories by pure accident. As many, I didn’t realise right away that it’s a non-profit organisation that supports kids. I was just completely charmed by the Monster Supplies shop itself. As soon as I learnt what Ministry of Stories is about, I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of it.

Were you nervous about anything before starting?

I was petrified! I’ve never worked in a shop before! I had so many questions and concerns. How to deal with a customer who insists on paying with human sacrifice? How to collect snot the right way? How to use a till?  It turned out great though! The Ministry folk are the friendliest and loveliest out there! They showed me the ropes and I only got bitten once or twice in the process.

What has been the best experience of volunteering?

Finding a place that feels like home, because that’s what Ministry feels to me. I love spending my Saturdays in the shop, I love chatting with customers, I love putting labels on tins, I love grinding fairies and using a tiny funnel to fill jars with fairy dust. Ok, maybe not the latter…

What has been the most unexpected thing about volunteering?

Weirdly enough, meeting so many amazing people and making friends. Who would have thought! Oh, and also the fulfilment you get by knowing that you are doing something useful.

Has volunteering changed anything in your life?

It certainly has! I love my Saturdays way more now! You get a chance to interact with humans and monsters from all over the world. It’s great fun!

Describe the Ministry of Stories in three words:

Inspiring, welcoming, ghoulish I mean fun.

What would you say to other people thinking of volunteering with the Ministry?

Come, join us! If something goes terribly wrong, we do sell death certificates on the spot.

NEXT PAGE: Our favourite stories for World Book Day