Thrift Store

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Thrift Store

Treasures Charity Thrift Store, a non profit second hand store operated by Beginning Again Richmond Hill, has been selling gently used clothing, linens, house wares, books, jewellery and collectables in Richmond Hill since 1986. Treasures is a registered charity that benefits the community in many ways.  As a thrift store Treasures offers clothing and household items at reasonable costs especially for those on a limited budget.  As well the thrift store is very environmentally friendly and encourages recycling and reusing of all kinds of items.  One of Treasures’ main goals is to raise awareness about mental health, provide educational material about mental illness and encourage community participation in the activities and facilities that aid individuals with mental health recovery.  In addition Treasures operates a work experience program for people living with mental health issues. Finally Treasures offers people from the community opportunities to volunteer and give back.

The success of the retail store depends on volunteers from the community. Our volunteers are trained to perform all kinds of tasks to contribute to the success of the store. These include helping customers with donations, organizing, sorting and pricing donations, customer service and cash, acting as job coach and mentor for program participants and on the Board of Directors.

It is important to note that while our main objective is to support our volunteers and community, sales are important too.  Proceeds from our retail operations allow us to continue our enterprise and offer services to individuals in mental health recovery.

Donations of good quality household items and clothing are our mainstay. All items are examined for quality and sorted by our volunteers then  prepared for sale – tagged and priced. Our quality guidelines are “Is this item of a quality to give to a family member or buy it yourself?”  Items that are not to our standards or out of season are redirected and donated to charities, shelters and other agencies in our region.

History

In 1985 there were few programs in the community of Richmond Hill offering help and support for people recovering from mental illness. Founder Elizabeth Davis wanted to change that and began researching the possibility of a volunteer run thrift store. Elizabeth soon partnered with Robin Collinson and others with the same goal and Treasures was born in June 1986.   For the first year the group sold second hand items at an 8′ x 10′ booth at the Fantastic Flea Market on Yonge Street north of Elgin Mills. It was conceived as a New Beginning for People and Things. Donations were kept at St Paul’s United Church in Oak Ridges and in volunteers’ homes until larger premises were available. A year later they moved Treasures to a more permanent location in a storefront at number 4 Levendale Road.  There were many obstacles to overcome in the early years including incorporating a non profit organization, forming a Board of Directors, creating a set of By Laws, searching for suitable location, grant writing and charitable status application, not to mention a flood in the store before they opened.   “If the volunteers hadn’t had such faith in my vision and shared it with passion, we would not have kept going through thick and thin.” said Elizabeth.  In 1993 the store moved to the present location at number 12 Levendale Road

Purpose

Since our beginning over 30 years ago, Treasures has a long history of supporting individuals as they deal with the challenges of recovery from serious mental illness or emotional issues.  Treasures is proud of the role we play in the community, as a social and vocational support for our volunteers to assist them toward mental health recovery

Treasures is a volunteer-run second hand store that provides a Work Experience Program  for individuals in mental health recovery to come and be engaged in meaningful and worthwhile work.  We remember to treat one another with respect, recognizing that each one of us has something of value to contribute.  Treasures is not a counselling service and therefore does not provide counselling for mental or emotional problems.  We do, however, endeavour to help in as many practical ways as possible.  Most importantly Treasures recognizes the value of having a place to belong and where one’s contribution is appreciated. Some of these include acting as a resource about other services in the community and providing clothing, toiletries and house wares to volunteers at reduced prices.  We also offer social events at Treasures from time to time.