Onwards Thrift in Tillsonburg continues to give back to the community seven years after first opening its doors.
On Friday, Onwards Thrift manager Karen Schuurman presented a $5,000 cheque to the Helping Hand Food Bank and a $5,000 cheque to the Upper Deck Youth Centre.
“I am so grateful for this,” said Dianne Clark, co-ordinator of the Helping Hand Food Bank in Tillsonburg. “This will really, really help us.”
The money was raised through items donated by the community that are sold within the thrift store.
“Most store items are donated. We do buy items to resell but most of it is donated,” said Schuurman. “We were incredibly blessed this year.”
Onwards Thrift, a not-for-profit business on Tillson Avenue also raises money for the Oxford Reform Christian School in Mount Elgin, which was established in the spring of 2005.
“Every time we donate to the school we also donate to local charities to give back,” said Schuurman, noting three consistent recipients have been the food bank, Upper Deck and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“It kind of goes with our mission, helping young people.”
“I didn’t know Karen six or seven years ago,” said Rayburn Lansdell, Satelite YFC, “and I got a call from them … ‘we would like to present a cheque to you.’ And I think at that time it was $2,000.”
“I think when I called you it was just when your furnace broke,” said Schuurman.
“Our furnace had broken down … and I think $2,000 was the bill for the furnace,” said Lansdell. “It was like a God-ordained divine appointment type of thing. And since then it’s been at least once a year, sometimes twice a year.”
“The last two years has been a little less often because of the lockdowns, but still it seemed like we’ve done amazing,” said Schuurman.
“With the (Upper Deck) youth centre it’s been so wonderful to have these community partners assist us in our work with young people,” said Lansdell.