Lack of volunteers reduces thrift store to three days a week.

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Above: Midstream volunteers Sherron Wehrhahn and Elsie Stang hold down the fort May 24. The society is looking for more volunteers to be able to run the shop five days per week. Below: A sign on the door announces the reduce hours.

by Stephen Dafoe

More than two months after the Midstream Support Society’s Annual General Meeting and a call for more volunteers, the society has been forced to reduce their thrift store’s hours of operation to three days per week.

Once open 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, the shop, which provides reasonably priced second-hand merchandise will now be open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday’s only.

Reduced hours will ultimately mean fewer sales and those sales help the community by providing gently-used clothing, household items, furniture, and appliances at low cost to local shoppers. Additionally, proceeds from the store go to various programs the Midstream Support Society is involved with, including youth sports, work experience, school fruit baskets and supplies, and community-wide fundraising support.

At Christmas, the Society helps the Christmas Hamper Program in partnership with the Knights Of Columbus, host a Christmas Feast, and run the annual Santa Store to help low-income families provide gifts for their children.

But the organization is in need of some additional help.

Midstream volunteers Sherron Wehrhahn and Elsie Stang are the thrift shops two main volunteers. Although assisted by other volunteers, there is not a sufficient number to be able to keep the shop running more than the current 16.5 hours per week.

“It’s basically Elsie and I,” Wehrhahn said. “The other ones [volunteers] have other commitments.”

Wehrhahn points out that there is a lot of work involved running the shop. On any given day, the Midstream can receive 40 to 100 bags of donations, which leaves much to sort and put on display while working with 40 to 60 customers per day.

“We’re looking for someone that is reliable that can do certain days for us,” Wehrhahn said, noting that the greatest need is for volunteers to help sort, stock and clean. “It’s a lot of work.”

Those interested in assisting can drop by the Midstream Thrift Store at 9922 101 Street during business hours and talk to Wehrhahn or Stang.

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