Social Innovation and Inclusion – A free thrift store in Cornwall!

Provided by ACFO SDG
Social Innovation and Inclusion – A free thrift store in Cornwall!

175 families and individuals have already benefited from ACFO SDG’s Friperie.

In November 2021, ACFO SDG innovated by creating its free thrift store to meet the needs of vulnerable or newly arrived families in the region. Very quickly, the generosity of the community made the Chevrier Street location overflow. Too small, a sustainable solution had to be found.

It is only a couple of months later that a teacher from La Citadelle High-School, Joëlle Perras, reached out to ACFO SDG to develop a community project. For Céline Baillargeon-Tardif, executive director at ACFO SDG, it was the perfect solution: by having the school provide a room, the community would benefit from a central and accessible location and the children from the special class would be directly implicated in an impactful initiative. The thrift store has been a great success. Last summer, the school freed and offered a new bigger space and ACFO SDG equipped the store with new commercial furniture. Since its debut, the thrift store served over 175 families and individuals, thanks to an extraordinary rallying of the community, implicated children and over 30 committed volunteers.

“With the help of volunteers and our team, for years we have been meeting families as soon as they arrive in the area and providing them with a directory of resources in French so that they can discover all the services available to them. Now, with the help of the youth, the school and the community, the ACFO SDG thrift store has really taken off and continues to provide basic necessities. Let’s remember that all donations make a difference in the lives of those in need,” said Denise Dumais, volunteer leader and vice-president of ACFO SDG.

“Our region is welcoming more and more refugees and immigrants. In collaboration with many partners and collaborators, ACFO SDG welcomes new families, mobilizes volunteers, distributes goods and actively participates in the network to ensure that these new members of our community can fully integrate into Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. The totally free thrift store is important and we are so proud of it because it is a unifying intergenerational practice that has an impact,” said Jean-Yves Lemoine, President of ACFO SDG.

“What a great opportunity to have a strong community partnership with the students and thus allow them to be involved in school and community action. This project allows us to help different families who will create our community of tomorrow,” commented Ms. Marie-Josée Larocque, vice-principal of La Citadelle School.

Call to the community!

ACFO SDG, a community convener, continues to develop its partnerships with local organizations. “We are pleased to renew our partnership with the Eastern Ontario Training Board for a winter coat drive to serve the newcomers currently at the Dev Center”, said Céline Baillargeon-Tardif, Executive Director.

Come and drop off your winter coats at ACFO SDG at 146 C Chevrier Avenue, Cornwall.

The ACFO SDG Thrift Shop is a social innovation that is part of the Cornwall SDG’s inclusive society project. If you would like to donate to the thrift store, please contact ACFO SDG at 613 833 9104.

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