It’s less than a year old, but Operation Share is already looking for bigger space.
Since launching in January, the organization, which collects unsold and overstock inventory to sell at auction and reinvests the profit in the community, has quickly outgrown its 2,000 sq. ft. warehouse on Jarvis Avenue, organizers say.
Since appearing in the Canstar community papers in August, the organization has been inundated with calls from businesses across the city looking to dump off dead inventory.
"We need more holding space," said Rob McLeod, the group’s assistant director, and pastor at Faith Baptist Church, which runs the operation.
The response from the community has been encouraging, McLeod said, and Operation Share wants to make sure it can keep pace with the forward momentum.
"The more stuff that comes in the more we can do," McLeod said.
The group is looking for warehouse space in the North End and inner city, said McLeod, who lives in the North End.
The organization is looking to into a new space next year, pending the approval of its budget by the Faith Baptist congregation and when the lease on its current warehouse expires.
The group is turning to the Faith Baptist congregation first to help out with volunteering before it will turn to the community for help, McLeod added.
"I want them to own it and unify the church group," he said.
Joe Boulard, who manages the warehouse, said he’s been positively overwhelmed by the response — even if it has been keeping him busy making up to two pickups a day, and travelling to auctions across southern Manitoba three times a week.
"I’m so pumped," he said.
"That means we’re moving in the right direction."
Boulard said he’s still learning the ropes of the business and what items auction houses want and don’t want.
Operation Share’s biggest needs are tools, antique collectibles, along with newer furnishings and appliances. Most electronics don’t sell at auction and instead get broken down and the metal sold for small sums, he said.
"I’m learning as we’re going," he said.
"I’m getting better at saying no (to certain items). If we took everything everyone wanted to give, we’d end up amassing a lot of undesirable stuff (we couldn’t sell)."
The money goes to help people in Winnipeg with urgent repairs or to provide care and basic needs to those facing a time of personal struggle.
For more information, call 204-415-3665 visit www.opshare.ca.