By Ian Croft
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
With the MCC Thrift Shop being a key charity in Taber that helps support international charity efforts it is no surprise that an expansion and renovation was needed for the shop itself. The social enterprise director for the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) – Alberta, Joyce Doran, provided a overview of what the renovation for the thrift shop entailed during the grand re-opening on Tuesday last week.
“I think back in 2019 the manager in the thrift council identified that we have outgrown our space,” said Doran. “The demand from shoppers and donors was such that we need more space. We did spend some time taking a look at some vacant buildings, explored possibilities about buying something bigger. We then, just because of economics, decided to invest in the current space. We just remodelled it and made it just more efficient. We’ve got approximately just under 300 extra square feet of retail, and then we reconfigured our donation and receiving area to make it more efficient.”
Doran then commented on how the thrift store has already seen some beneficial increases due to the new renovations, as well as going into detail about some of the other future developments that they have in the works.
“We’ve already seen a big increase in donations mostly because we now have room to accept furniture donations. That’s been a real game changer for us and for the community. They have a place to bring their second-hand furniture in, and people now have a place to buy secondhand furniture which we didn’t have in the smaller space. We’re going to do some work in the back for storage, but the goal is to stay at this facility probably for the next four to five years. If thrift continues to grow like it has in the past five years then I think we will be in a better position to maybe take a look at another building, something new, or buying an existing property so we can expand.”
Last of all Doran provided a breakdown on just how much money was raised for the charitable effort that MCC pursues.
“Here in Alberta last year we contributed $1.2 million from thrift to MCC Canada,” said Doran. “This year we will exceed that again. The goal here is we invest locally, but the profits from thrift go to our international programming, and we are in 45 different countries around the world.”
Taber’s Mayor Andrew Prokop was also present at this grand re-opening, and provided his own comments on the event.
“This is very impressive and a special day for MCC,” said Prokop. “It’s been around since 2009 itself and 50 years across the country. That’s impressive, and supporting 45 countries across the world and relief and support efforts. That’s (what) MCC is all about and great of them for supporting that many countries. It’s certainly put them on the global stage and Taber in Alberta as well. All the renovations are a huge improvement, and it’s going to serve the MCC store, staff, and volunteers. There was a grant related to the signage for the advertising for today. That was a grant that the town was able to support and help them with. We certainly do support the store and what they’re all about. Anything that’s going to help our community and area is a huge enhancement and benefit for a Taber and area residents.”
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