Vanderhoof based thrift store raised $20,445 last month and are going to use it to respond to the needs of the community.
The Salvation Army in the district raised this money during the Christmas Kettle Campaign between Nov. 14 and Dec. 24.
“We had awesome support from the community. There was a group of half a dozen couples who came out and wanted to help and volunteer…But as the program went along we had more and more people asking how they could help,” said Roy Spooner, community ministries supervisor for the Vanderhoof Salvation Army.
Spooner said the store got a call from the Midget Hockey team in the district and they offered to help as well. “So they organized a whole group of young hockey players to come down and they manned the kettles…The children were there ringing bells, having fun, interacting with people and celebrating Christmas in a different way than merely expecting a big present under the tree.”
As a thrift store, the profit they make goes directly into community social services account which is used to respond to the different needs of the district.
“Because of a couple of requests, one from a [city] councillor actually – he said ‘what can we do to help people, who are hanging around at the street corners all winter? And they are cold and don’t have a place to go.’
So we are going to open – in the extra space we have in the store – a place we are calling Huggamugg.”
Spooner said, people can drop in and get coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice or soup bowls and it will be a warm place in comparison to the street. At the same time, it is going to be a place for customers of the store to get a nice cup of coffee while they shop.
Meanwhile, the thrift store is taking another initiative to help people recycle in the district. This time they will be collaborating with the Midget Hockey team in the last week of January, to deliver 1500 blue bags to homes in the Vanderhoof core. People will be able to donate anything they wish to and more details will be made available by the Salvation Army shortly.
“All of that is part of our primary objective to build relationships in the community. The more that we can build a relationship between the [Salvation] army and the community, the more we can encourage positive relationships between different segments. The community becomes more and more healthy in a holistic way,” said Spooner.
Lastly, the thrift store is looking for volunteers to take over different tasks. There are different positions and time schedules available, said Spooner.
“Our store is becoming a place where people come and meet family or friends or neighbours because there is no pressure to spend a lot of money. It is a friendly place. So volunteers come in and fill in in a variety of ways,” he said.