Friends, we are living in weird times. The COVID-19 virus has basically put a halt to everything, including thrifting and this is NOT a blog post to complain about how a virus has cramped my shopping options. This is a blog post about how we can support one another.
This is my mom. She’s 81 years young and if anything kills her, it won’t be the virus it’ll be boredom. In a matter of weeks, her world has shrunk considerably. All the things she does regularly have been cancelled or postponed: church services, volunteering opportunities at church, and volunteering at the MCC Centre Thrift Shop in Abbotsford. Halting all of this activity is good and necessary: we all need to be vigilant in terms of social distancing if we’re going to get through this.
When the thrift shop notified the public via Facebook that they were closing their shop temporarily, I thanked them profusely:
As the daughter of one of your faithful volunteers, who would be too stubborn to NOT come to the store, I am grateful that you made this decision for her! Thank you for being thoughtful in this regard. Those of us who shop thrift regularly should make a donation to MCC to make up for lost revenue!
And that brings me to my second purpose for this blog post. Like many businesses, thrift shops will obviously lose revenue during this time. What makes thrift shops different, is that most thrift shops support charities and it is these charities that will truly feel the pain of lost revenue. Across Canada, MCC thrift shops raise millions of dollars to support the relief, development and peace work of the organization worldwide. At the MCC Centre Thrift Shop where mom volunteers, they bring in tens of thousands of dollars each month. This revenue goes to provide school kits, fund agriculture projects, build wells, support employment projects (that often support women in need), and more.
Now I realize that there are many people right here at home who are hurting financially because of COVID-19. Friends, if you find yourself in this situation because of the crisis we’re in, please know that I am not writing to you. I’m writing to me.
My husband and I are very, very fortunate that we both have jobs that we can do from home and so our income, at least for now, is not threatened. Our house is paid for. We only have one adult child, who is, for now, also able to continue working. My mom is also doing well. She is healthy and though she may be bored, she’s figuring out ways to keep busy (by baking, mostly. Her family is all going to suffer from weight gain before this is done…)
We are in a position where we can help out the charities that rely on donations to do their good work. I shop at a lot of thrift shops that support charities: MCC, M2W2, Hospice, Salvation Army, Bibles for Missions, to name a few. All of these organizations do good work. (I also support the arts, which typically rely on donations to keep their productions going: Gallery 7 theatre, Pacific Theatre, or Bard on the Beach, to name a few.)
So if you, like me, are a dedicated thrift shopper with nowhere to shop, consider donating that money directly to the charities they support. That, and stay home, wash your hands, and practice social distancing!
You’re all in my prayers. Let’s get through this together.