FERGUS – The Mission Thrift Store here presented a $1-million cheque to The Bible League of Canada in a ceremony on Aug. 1.
The event recognized store volunteers and the generosity of area residents, who have donated second-hand clothes, furniture, electronics and other household goods since the store opened in November 2012.
“It’s just incredible that a small store like this, serving a relatively small rural community, can not only survive, but thrive to the point of making $1 million within seven years of opening its doors,” said board chair and event emcee Klaas Sikkema.
He attributed the operation’s success to three things: “a supportive, caring community,” loyal shoppers, and dedicated volunteers.
“Nobody believes me when I tell them we only have one paid employee,” Sikkema said.
“Volunteers are in short supply, and we are always looking to recruit more. They can choose their own hours, from six days a week to half a day, and there is a generous staff discount.”
Centre Wellington Mayor Kelly Linton called the donation “a wonderful example of how this community helps each other by giving its time and resources to help others in need.”
He added, “The environmental and humanitarian reasons to shop at thrift stores like this one support a more sustainable and eco-friendly way to recycle, while reducing waste in our landfills.”
The Mission Thrift Store helps the local food bank and assists The Door Youth Centre, the Pregnancy Centre in Fergus and reaches out to families in immediate need of a direct donation of household items.
Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott lauded the Mission Thrift Store.
“With the rising costs of living in Ontario, thrift stores like this help make it easier for those truly in need. It can really make a difference for communities who have thrift shops,” said Arnott.
Accepting the cheque on behalf of the Bible League, President Paul Richardson explained how the $1 million would be used.
“Donations to the Bible League provide a safe learning environment for children in regions of dire poverty, teaching people to read and write, helping to build churches and work in partnership with those countries where persecution denies Christians the freedom to worship,” said Richardson.
Sikkema noted, “Our goal is to continue helping people not only in our own community, but others around the world.
“I would like to thank all our customers for their continued support and to emphasize that their generosity is really making a difference.”
– Submitted by Lee Holloran