Helping people from Golden to Africa at St. Paul’s Thrift Shop

Local volunteers help people shop affordable in Golden while helping people in Africa.

Volunteers Maryann Emery and Gaetane McClure stand in front of St. Paul’s Thrift Shop. The shop and all of its volunteers send between 350-400 bags of donated clothes

Volunteers Maryann Emery and Gaetane McClure stand in front of St. Paul’s Thrift Shop. The shop and all of its volunteers send between 350-400 bags of donated clothes

The volunteers at St Paul’s Thrift Shop have been serving the Golden area for 50 years and the work they do is now benefiting people in Africa as well.

The shop which is located at the Abbeyfield building takes donations from residents and provides a place for people in all walks of life to reuse second hand items.

One of the places where the group has starting sending items is to aid people in need in Africa.

“We used to take things into Calgary. Even though the clothing or linens were in good shape they just didn’t sell. Part of the reason for doing this is we do not want to add to waste going into a land fill. Now someone we know takes the bags to Revelstoke where they get bailed for Africa,” said volunteer Maryann Emery.

She went on to say the group felt it was important for the donations not to go to waste especially when you are looking at hundreds of bags of items.

“It is partially environmental because we try and keep things out of the landfill. Books and cardboard we recycle. Although we ask for no donations of televisions and electronics (due to limited space), we still try to do what we can. Also when there are people in need we do not want to be throwing away reusable clothing. We donate shoes, clothing and linens,” Emery said.

In all between 350 to 400 large green garbage bags are collected every month which  are forwarded on to Revelstoke before being sent to Africa.

The shop could not exist if it was not for the donations from people within the community.

“People are incredible. They are very generous to us. We get great donations of  good quality items. They do not want their items being thrown away,  they want to use them. Many people shop here from the community because they believe in reducing their footprint,” Emery said.

The shop has hired a part-time employee who works 20 hours a week but there are also almost 20 volunteers who donate their time and energy to help the shop continue to provide a valuable service for local residents and beyond.

Marking the 50th year celebration the shop will be holding a special “Treasures from the Attic” sale on September 17.

Anyone interested in volunteering time feel free to drop by the shop to get more information.