Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

MCC opens furniture thrift store on Keewatin

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JONA Leppky never figured he'd end up in the furniture business, but that's exactly where he finds himself these days.

The retired computer consultant, along with John Wieler, Harry Peters and Vic Wieler, are directors of the Mennonite Central Committee's Furniture Thrift Store at 18 Keewatin St. It opened on Oct. 1, in what was formerly Shelly's Furniture Place.

"None of us ever worked in the furniture business in our careers, but we're in it now," chuckles Leppky.

The four friends, along with 12 volunteers from various Mennonite churches, deal solely with donated furniture.

"There are three other MCC thrift stores in Winnipeg, but they primarily stock clothing and small household appliances, whereas our store is big enough to stock larger furniture. So we're avoiding clothes and directing people to the other stores and focusing primarily on furniture," says Leppky.

What really surprised Leppky is how much furniture is actually available out there, and what good condition a lot of it is still in.

"We get several calls a day, and we even had a French provincial suite without a scratch on it," he says. "The other day, we got a call from a lady who had just taken possession of a house and had inherited a whole bunch of furniture she didn't need or want. And the people who moved out didn't want it either, so she said we could have it."

Leppky is quick to give thanks to organizations that have helped them out as well. He says Manitoba Hydro has been particularly generous.

"We approached Manitoba Hydro and asked them if they had a van we could use because we needed a van the size of the trucks they use. And they were more than happy to donate a van to help us with our pickup of furniture. They gave us the van and had it safetied and were very courteous and kind to us."

All proceeds from the sale of used furniture at the store goes to MCC for their charitable programs around the world.

For more information, call the Mennonite Central Committee's Furniture Thrift Store at 694-3669.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 12, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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