Thrifty students now have a new place to find steals downtown; the Mustard Seed Thrift Store at 342 Seymour St. is now open and accepting donations at the former Thrift City location. Katie Hutchins, the Mustard Seed’s executive assistant, says the new and improved storefront is sure to impress and is much like a boutique.
All profits from the Mustard Seed Thrift Store are reintegrated back into the programs the Mustard Seed already offers, such as their community outreach and advocacy programs. With a mission of ending poverty in different communities across Canada, Hutchins says the Mustard Seed works to do so by “addressing basic needs that typically revolve around food, clothing, and shelter.” Once those basic needs are addressed, the nonprofit turns to requirements within the Kamloops’ community, such as housing, employment, counselling, and addiction services.
With the profits from the Mustard Seed Thrift Store, “[The Mustard Seed] is hoping to better fund advocacy programs such as [their] employment project,” says Hutchins. “[The thrift] has had some really busy days and has been doing well profit-wise.”
They hope to use the funds earned at the thrift store to hire trained professionals to come in and coach their clients through job applications and other things of similar nature.
Hutchins stated that The Mustard Seed needs consistent volunteers that can dedicate anywhere from one day a week to one day a month at the new thrift store and donations of “nicer workwear type clothing.” Hutchins added that “[the Mustard Seed] can offer referrals to clients that inform [them] they have no clothes to wear say for an interview.”
Clients can then come down to the thrift store and pick out a new look to wear for free, no questions asked. Those who choose to donate their lightly loved items to The Mustard Seed Thrift Store can request their clothing be reserved for the referral program—a sure-fire way you can ensure your donation goes to a good cause. Hutchins added that because the store has been so busy, the initial items donated during quarantine have begun to dissipate. Donations are, therefore, highly appreciated.
Spending your coin at the Mustard Seed Thrift Store will also ensure the nonprofit’s goal of ending poverty in Kamloops and elsewhere is made a sustainable one, at least in our small community. Hutchins says, “because [the Mustard Seed] is a non-profit [they] are unable to pay full salaries,” therefore making volunteers vital to the foundation to keep things consistent.
The nonprofit has done and continues to do fantastic work here in Kamloops, and it is crucial we spend our dollars or offer our help to make sure they can continue feeding our unhoused friends and neighbours.
The Mustard Seed provides lunch and dinner for 250 community members a day, Tuesday through Saturday, on top of the advocacy programs previously outlined. During times like these where much is made uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can undoubtedly trust The Mustard Seed to enrich community members’ lives.