If you’re like many Winnipeggers who love to snag a bargain while at the same time helping a wonderful cause, make sure you stop by and check out "the Store," run by Pulford Community Living Services, a not-for-profit organization that provides independent living and support to adults in the community living with developmental disabilities.
As soon as I walked into the bright, welcoming store at 1069 Autumnwood Dr. in Windsor Park I was warmly greeted by the manager, Frankie Hardy. The Store features a large variety of gently-used wares including furniture, books, clothes, toys and other household items at affordable prices.
Jonathan Dionne, the training and development co-ordinator for Pulford Community Living Services, was pleasantly surprised by how welcoming the Windsor Park community has been.
"People are happy we’re here," he said. "It’s been great."
While visiting the new shop I also had the opportunity to meet Patrick Houston, currently in practicum training at the Store. His many duties include picking up donations from the community, sorting through newly-arrived items and pricing them before they are set out in the storefront. His favourite part of the job, however, is when he gets to provide help to the customers.
"I like coming here, seeing people," Patrick told me.
"He has really good people skills," Dionne added.
All proceeds from the Windsor Park store, as well as one located in Ste. Anne, Man., go towards "ensuring people receiving support services achieve their goals and dreams."
"The main goal for us is community inclusion," Dionne explained. "We want people in the community to have all the opportunities anyone else has."
Each individual participating in the practicum has his or her own unique goals and aspirations.
Patrick, who has worked at the store since its opening on July 29, would like to someday apply the skills he has learned by working at ‘the Store’ and is looking forward to brushing up his resume.
The Pulford Community Services thrift stores are run solely on generous donations from the community. They currently accept donations of furniture, clothing, electronics and small appliances, and other household items as well as cash donations that go to their endowment fund with The Winnipeg Foundation.
To learn more about how you can donate, visit their website at www.pulford.ca or contact Jonathan Dionne at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 204-284-2255.