In total, local non-profits recently saw an influx of half a million dollars.
On Monday, the Morden Community Thrift Shop donated another $500,000 to 17 local organizations. The store dispersed the same amount last summer.
Executive Secretary Nora Wiebe explains they discuss potential recipients as a board and present their nominees to the entire volunteer workforce before voting.
“We’re all volunteers and all the monies that come in, go out. So each volunteer has a vote in how it’s spent,” Wiebe says.
The Boundary Trails Health Centre (BTHC) Foundation building fund received $250,000 on Monday, the same amount they received last year. “Because it’s something that benefits the entire surrounding area,” she says.
The BTHC Foundation has been working on expansion plans for the past three years in response to the region’s population growth. Plans include creating a service centre and moving office space out of the hospital to free up room for medical services.
Other recipients included STARS Air Ambulance with $25,000, a service Wiebe says has also been invaluable to Morden and the surrounding region.
“It couldn’t work without the volunteers, the donors and the shoppers, it’s a three-way split,” she says. “So we try and cover and help as much of our community as we can because they’ve been a great help to us to make this kind of money.”
The Pembina Counselling Centre received $25,000 and the Darlingford Fire Department saw $22,000.
In the end, Wiebe says the generous funding is made possible thanks to an army of 85 selfless volunteers. “There isn’t one person here on salary.”
Wiebe says the store becomes a “home away from home” for many.
“You come here, you talk, you laugh, you work… it’s just a wonderful place to be.”
One volunteer notes she’s been coming into work for the past 26 years. “It’s just a joy, I like to help the community. I enjoy making friends and I don’t need the pay, I don’t want the pay… it’s my social life.”
Written by Steven Sukkau