News Local

New name, new approach for Colborne shop

By Mandy Martin, For Northumberland Today

COLBORNE -- Every cent earned at The Thrift Shoppe in downtown Colborne supports the Big Brothers Big Sisters Northumberland organization.

Previously known as Second Helpings, the retail secondhand store is now known as The Thrift Shoppe.

The store has been open for over 30 years now, always for the financial benefit of an organization that supports programs for children in Northumberland County. A decade ago, it looked like the store would close, unable to justify paying anyone to manage the retail outlet. But a handful of community volunteers stepped forward and said they'd take it on -- gratis.

Located at 18 Victoria Square on the east side of Victoria Square Park in downtown Colborne, the shop is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Monday through Saturday. That's six days a week of commitment from the roster of 22 volunteers. Almost weekly, the store's front window display is changed to reflect themes du jour, thanks to Joyce Murray.

"We have a committee that meets regularly to plan and talk about ideas," Ms. Murray explains. Ruth Reid is the chair, Lynn Cooney treasurer with committee members Wivan Walker, Carolyn Rawn, Carole Plunkett and Ingelore Dauphin.

"We're always looking for volunteers," she says, especially people who can fill in for occasional shifts if a regular schedule is asking too much.

The store features men's, women's, children's and infants' clothing -- for all seasons. In addition there are books, jewelry, hats, gloves, scarves, purses, shoes, drapes, bedding and small household décor.

"We get some amazing things in," Ms. Murray says. "For example, especially in the spring months, we see designer clothing that still has the (retail) labels on! And, you know, I think our top price for anything is about $20 and that includes really good winter coats!"

People regularly drop by to check out what "new" CDs (six for $2) or DVDs ($2 each including Blueray).

With the new store name -- The Thrift Shoppe -- has come an interior revamp too. Clothes are now arranged on linear racks, the better to accommodate walkers or scooters. There's fresh paint, new colourful signs inside and out, and soon-to-be walled bookshelves to create even more display room.

If interested in volunteering, call Joyce at 905-344-7338.