Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
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This article was published 23/1/2019 (532 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeggers are ‘tidying up’ their homes, and local thrift stores are benefiting.
"Typically in January, we often see a drop off in donations," Robin Searle, chief operating officer of the Kildonan MCC Thrift Shop (445 Chalmers Ave.), said. "But we have not seen a decrease this year. In fact, we’ve seen an increase. At one point last week, both our trucks were full."
"For our store, for sure we’re seeing it," said Janice Howard, manager of Prairie Crocus Thrift Store (930 Nairn Ave.) "We’re seeing lots of new clothes, brand names, new household items, and lots of vintage items that people wouldn’t normally purge."
"We’re seeing lots of clothing, house hold items, smaller pieces of furniture," Searle said, adding usually their busiest donation times are in spring and fall.
Both Searle and Howard believe the increase in quality donations is a result of the current trend of decluttering, popularized by the hit Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
"I understand her concept is that you ask yourself if an item brings you joy or not," Searle said. "With us, we’re constantly passing that joy on. People donate their treasures, we turn them into other people’s treasures while generating revenue so that we can bring joy to others; the joy of a safe place to live, a warm blanket during a disaster, some food. It’s paying it forward."
People donate their treasures, we turn them into other people’s treasures.
One concern raised regarding the decluttering trend is that many discarded items will simply end up in the trash if a home is not found for them. Both Prairie Crocus and Kildonan MCC shops, though, go the extra mile to see that donated items find a good home.
"We take everything, and if we don’t take we give it to Siloam or the Union Gospel Mission," Howard said. "So it’s all going to a good cause. It will always find a home here."
"We do our best to make sure that clothing stays out of the landfill," Searle said, adding that the Kildonan MCC Thrift Shop’s Clearance Centre, located at 396 Edison Ave., provides shoppers with an option to buy used clothing and household items in bulk for a reduced price.
Both Searle and Howard are happy to see a bump in quality items being donated to their shops, as it means more money can be raised for charity.
"We are a non-profit, retail organization," Searle said. "Our mandate is to raise funds to provide support for Mennonite Central Committee."
Searle added that the Kildonan MCC Thrift Shop has recently hired a volunteer co-ordinator to explore new opportunities for recruiting volunteers.
"As our volunteer base is aging, we’re losing longtime volunteers," she said. "We’re now looking at volunteers who will be here 10, 12, 14 weeks. We provide a safe work experience for those in our community who are often marginalized. For some, it’s an opportunity to improve their English, or to gain experience as a sales associate."
"For us, because we’re non-profit, that means money for the programs we support," Howard said.
Prairie Crocus Thrift Store provides revenue for Dignity House, a ministry supporting women who are exiting the sex trade, and Finding Freedom, which aids those suffering from addiction and trauma.
"Everybody here are volunteers, and they’re seeing some neat stuff coming through," Howard said. "They’re getting excited about thrifting again."
Community journalist — The Herald
Sheldon Birnie is the community journalist for The Herald Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7112
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