The Loonie Bin provides a much-needed additional thrift store outlet for the Upper Room Mission and a place for the Fresh Start program which offers work skills training.
“We call this the Upper Room Mission’s newest miracle on 34th Street,” said Bobbe MacKenzie, Upper Room Mission board member and coordinator for the project. The Upper Room Mission’s meals and community services centre and boutique thrift store are all located on 34th Street.
The Loonie Bin will have clothes for men, women and children, books and housewares, all priced at a loonie or less after the grand opening. There will be more specials and prize draws in the weeks to come.
“The good thing is that there is no tax because we are a 100 per cent non-profit organization. When you give to the Upper Room Mission, you know that it all goes back to the community in services,” said MacKenzie.
The idea for a second thrift store came up about a year ago as a way to make sure that all donations of clothing and other items would be used. The Fresh Start program will give participants who are looking for work a chance to learn or re-learn retail and customer service skills and get references.
“We appreciate all the support we have had to get the Loonie Bin going, from donations of time and materials to all the volunteers. We can’t thank everyone enough,” said MacKenzie.
The Loonie Bin will have its grand opening Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a special sale — fill a grocery bag with items and pay only one loonie. After that, most items will be a loonie or less and the store will be open Wednesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 3008-34th St., Vernon. Volunteers are needed so that the store can be open Monday and Tuesday as well.