The joint will be hoppin’ and the teens will be shoppin’ when the Elmira Mennonite Central Committee Thrift Shop holds its upcoming teen night on the evening of Feb. 21. After raising about $2,000 during their first teen night held last February, and doubling that amount to $4,000 this past August, the decision to have a third one was a no-brainer. “It’s a real boost for MCC this time of year, because February is kind of a low time for donations,” said store manager Betty Marshall.
“Christmas has past, and our sales are usually slow in February, so it helps all around.”
Since their sale in August, staff at MCC has been setting aside popular teen brands like Bench and American Eagle, and the sale has been a big hit with local teens as they line up “out the door and into the back parking lot” waiting for the doors to open, the manager said.
And with prices up to ten times lower than teens can expect to pay for brand new clothes, the evening’s popularity is understandable.
“T-shirt ranges from $3 to $5, a hoodie or a sweatshirt probably would go from anywhere from $6 to $10, and jeans are $4 to $6,” said Marshall. “So they’re at least a quarter and maybe a tenth of what they would be new, depending on the brand.”
It’s not just the low prices and quality merchandise that brings the students and teens back, said Marshall, but the knowledge that the money they help raise goes back to MCC to support their initiatives in Ontario, and around the world.
“I think teens are very globally-minded and they want their money to go to others too, even though they’re getting something for themselves,” she said. “I think they are much more conscious of things like that than we ever were when I was a teenager.”
In the past year, MCC has delivered funds and materials to relief efforts in Somalia and Ethiopia as Somali refugees have fled their country because of famine and civil strife, and MCC aid workers are stationed in more than 50 countries around the world.
Closer to home, MCC recently sent blankets, hygiene kits and relief supplies to the Aboriginal community of Attawapiskat after news of that community’s poor living conditions surfaced, and for two weeks in February MCC Ontario will send certified trades people to the community to help build modular homes.
The 14 thrift shops that MCC operates in Ontario form the backbone of the organizations ability to provide such aid, with those shops bringing in about $2 million in net revenue – $500,000 of that from Elmira alone.
The MCC teen night is Feb. 21 from 6-10 p.m. with the shop closed an hour beforehand to set up for the night. For more information call 519-669-8475 or visit http://thrift.mcc.org.