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MCC challenges residents to get creative in transforming trash to treasure

Elmira’s MCC Thrift & Gift wants to see the community make something from nothing, holding a contest to determine who can be the most creative.

With the Thrift Challenge, staff at the store have put together 25 boxes full of knickknacks and are inviting anyone to take a box and make something beautiful.

“It is about creating interest in thrift and interest in what we can do with things that we have too much of,” explained store manager Betty Marshall. “What do you do with all those mugs? What do you do with all these little vases? What do you do with all these VHS tapes?”

Those items and more can be found in the themed boxes, currently waiting to get picked up at the store on Church Street West.

“We get so many children’s books and we don’t want them to go in the garbage. In the boxes we have cups and saucers, craft supplies, bits and pieces of board games and more.

“We don’t want to tell people everything that is in the boxes,” said Marshall. “We want some of it to be a surprise.”

The final product can be anything the builder wants, but there are a few rules to the contest. The end result must have used 75 per cent of the items in the box, and the base can’t be bigger than 24 inches across,” said Marshall. “Other than that, it is pretty much open. You can use glue, tape, fasteners – anything you can use to build. You can use the box itself if you want.”

The contest entries will be featured in MCC Thrift & Gift for two weeks at the end of February, and the public will have a chance to pick their favourite and benefit a good cause at the same time.

“That is what I am most excited about. There is going to be a container in front of each project for the public to put in a donation,” said Marshall. “Whoever gets the most donations will win the People’s Choice Award and get to choose where the donation goes.”

There are also three judges that will be awarding gift cards to the most creative and innovative pieces. So far, two out of three judges have been confirmed, but Marshall says there is still time before the Feb. 25 deadline.

The crafting has already begun at the secondhand store, with four boxes picked up just two days into the contest. Marshall says the contest is open to anyone who can build something independently, and she can’t wait for the display of art made from repurposed trinkets.

“We really want the public to come and view them,” she said. “It might be a sculpture, or a tower or something like that.”

For more information about the contest, call MCC Thrift & Gift at 519-669-8475.

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