Thrift Shop and Drop-In Center
Wesley Thrift Shop, as it is commonly known, was the idea of Goldie Evans, the wife of Rev. Calvin Evans, one of our former ministers. Goldie was instrumental in starting a similar outreach at a Montreal United Church more than 25 years ago, and it is still successfully operating to this day. Wesley Thrift Shop opened on June 7, 2001 at 1:00 pm and has been going strong ever since.
The initial concept of the Thrift Shop was to provide low income families in the downtown area with very affordable second-hand clothing and small household goods, and to provide a social setting for the patrons. This has, indeed, proved to be a very worthwhile outreach and Wesley Thrift Shop is well-known throughout the city.
Each Tuesday, at 1:00 pm., except on holidays and summer months, we open our doors. We have an average of 35-40 clients. We provide them with tea/coffee/juice, sandwiches and cookies; sometimes we have soup and hot dogs. People can shop for used items at an average price of 50 cents per item. It is a social event for most of the people who frequent the Thrift Shop and many have expressed that they look forward to Tuesdays.
We have approximately 20 volunteers who meet each Tuesday morning to sort the donated items for sale, prepare the food and then, when the doors open, welcome the clientelle and serve them. These volunteers also enjoy this worthwhile outreach. Each Christmas, we have a party for the clients, providing them with entertainment, a gift for the each of them and, of course, plenty of food. We even manage to have some Mummers drop in at the party.
We look at this as a fantastic opportunity for outreach with every aspect being seen as a positive one. The help we offer is deeply appreciated by our clients. We are also giving members of our congregation (and anyone else who would like to contribute) an outlet for items they no longer need and we are putting them to further use through this outreach project. We sincerely thank all who volunteer and/or donate to this worthy project and we would invite you to get involved. If you would like more information, or would like to donate items for the Thrift Shop, please call the church office at 579-3682 or drop by during our operating hours on Tuesday afternoon. We would love to see you there.