Bargain hunters now have two shops in Minden affiliated with The Anglican Parish of Minden, Kinmount and Maple Lake.
The thrift store at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, at 19 Invergordon Ave., is slated to re-open on Monday, Jan. 3. It has been closed since Aug. 28 for renovations to double in size, said Reverand Canon Joan Cavanagh-Clark.
“There’s such a huge need in the community that we had to expand,” Rev. Joan said of the thrift shop.
Deacon Martha Waind said they opened the thrift shop in 2014. It started up stairs in the church but they outgrew that space in a matter of months.
They stipulated it will remain as a thrift shop, with no items priced at more than $8.
“The thrift shop is to meet a need in the community because you know the stats on poverty in this community,” Rev. Joan said. “There’s no public transportation. We try
to shop locally but it’s very limited so a second-hand shop was really needed.
“They have a lovely one in Haliburton but they don’t have enough transportation to get there so the first year we were open at the thrift shop I was almost in tears because a mother said to me ‘this is the first time my kids in Grade 3 and 1 have had indoor shoes for school because I can’t afford both’. So, it’s been a huge need in the community.”
Rev. Joan added that other than their operating costs, every cent they make is given back to the community or some other non-profit they support. One of those is the Bishop McAllister Anglican Church School in Africa, an orphanage for kids who have lost their parents to AIDS. She said it costs $450 a year per child. Closer to home, they support Places for People, the Minden Community Food Centre, have put braces on kids’ teeth and paid emergency dental bills. They often provide thrift store items for free when there is a need, such as clients of the women’s shelter in the County.
The other shop is Bountiful Blessings, located at 105 Bobcaygeon Rd. in the downtown.
It opened in September 2020 but has been disrupted by COVID-19. However, it’s again operating Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The original plans have changed, according to Waind. She said that with the thrift shop closed, “this turned into something it wasn’t intended to be. We just kept getting donations and donations and donations and we had no place else to put them so our purpose for this became a second-hand store, which wasn’t the real reason for opening.”
Rev. Joan said the original vision – and one they are still working towards – is a gathering place with classes.
“We can’t do an awful lot about the homelessness but perhaps we can provide
a place to come during the day because the homeless people I work with have nothing to do all day except walk and go to Tim Hortons if they have the money to do that.”
She said the plan is for a community venture, since there is no seniors’ centre for example. It will be free or by donation and involve the community identifying its needs and people stepping up to gift their time and expertise.
“So far, we have someone willing to do art classes, teach sign language, budgeting, Christians against poverty.” They’re also planning to bring in computers for those who experience internet connectivity issues and to help people fill out forms, such as CPP, EI, etc.
But for now, as a second-hand store, with perhaps better-quality goods than the thrift store, Waind said, “we’ve had really good reception.