For those who are struggling financially this winter, are looking for unique, practical or fun items, or are searching for a good deal, the Bible For Missions Thrift Store is open to the public.
The store serves as more than just a store. Run completely by volunteers and surviving by donations the BFM thrift store is a place where the community comes together.
Vi Wells, a board member and volunteer at the thrift store, is very happy with the way the store is run and impressed with the support given by members of Ponoka.
“We have been wonderfully blessed with donations from the community,” said Wells. “We are really thankful for the support the community has given us, which has really been tremendous.”
BFM is a non-denominational Christian organization and the money that is made from the thrift store goes into a fund that is used to fulfill the Christian calling of making disciples of all nations. BFM works to distribute the Word of God to people around the world who don’t have a Bible or are discouraged from having one.
The BFM thrift store is located at 5006 50th street in a historic building that is 104 years old.
“It’s a very old building,” said Wells. “We are still getting some kinks out but it’s going really well.”
The store recently installed a new sign above its door that is lit 24/7. Out of all the BFM thrift stores in Alberta, it is the first and only one to have this kind of sign.
It has been open to the community since Oct. 15 and has since then been well-stocked with toys, knickknacks, clothes, Christmas decorations, electronics, cookware, furniture, shoes, purses, sheets, cushions and much more.
The store is clean, organized, well kept and a good size for what it carries. The store is run by approximately 12 volunteers, and Wells encourages anyone to come and volunteer and help out.
“We can always use more volunteers,” she said. “We’re looking for more people to be on the board as well. We have five people right now to make decisions about spending money, changing policies, etc.”
Volunteers are especially needed on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help with the cash register.
Wells enjoys her work at the thrift store and the camaraderie with the other volunteers as well as seeing new and known faces come into the store.
“I like meeting with the people who come in,” she said. “Sorting through donations of items is interesting as well, there are many different things that come in.”
Wells says that there is always a need for donations as the stuff that comes in, goes out just as fast. The only things the store doesn’t take are major appliances such as fridges and stoves.
Wells says that the store has been successful and that the community has responded well to it being in town.
“People who come in say that it is really neat, clean and organized,” she said. “I think that Ponoka really needed another thrift store.”
There are 30 BFM thrift stores across Canada and five in Alberta including Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Red Deer, and now Ponoka.
The BFM thrift store provides a way to help the local community by meeting clothing, furniture needs, recycles clothes
The BFM foundation in Canada is run by volunteers and is a non-denominational Christian organization that operates thrift stores across Canada to make money for The Bible League of Canada and the work of Bible placement. Its mission is also to serve people locally with respect and dignity by demonstrating the love of Christ.