EDMONTON – After two fires in the span of nine months, the Bissell Centre Thrift Shoppe had lost everything.
“It’s been hard,” said spokesperson Devin Komarniski.
“We were just recovering from the first fire and getting our operations dialed in again. We are not only selling items there to create revenues to support the programs and services here in the inner city but also, it’s our sorting centre for free clothing here in the Community Closet that goes to those who are homeless who have nothing.”
More than 100,000 articles of clothing and household goods were destroyed, but Monday, the organization launched a two-week online campaign to #RestoreBissell.
“Since the fire, we’ve acquired 32,000 articles of clothing,” said Komarniski. “So we’re doing pretty good, but there’s a little ways to go with our clothing needs, and then also we’re about $25,000 short of funds to be able to reopen the Thrift Shoppe in October.”
The Bissell Centre says it needs a total of $100,000 to reopen its doors by that time. It says it’s already secured $75,000 from various supporters, but is asking the public to help with the remaining $25,000.
So, it launched restorebissell.org to raise awareness about the organization’s needs and offer an easy way for people to donate towards the cause.
“We have a great online community.
“Edmonton’s social media community is so supportive and it’s such a good way to spread the word,” explained Komarniski. “The website that we put together is mobile friendly so it’s really easy to make a donation through there.”
RestoreBissell.org will run for two weeks, in the hopes of raising that $25,000 through donations from the community. If the fundraising goal is reached, the Bissell Centre will be able to reopen its Thrift Shoppe at the original location at 88 Street and 118 Avenue.
To participate in the campaign, visit restorebissell.org and spread the word by tweeting with the hashtag #RestoreBissell. There is also a tweet-up happening Thursday night at the Pourhouse on Whyte to help get the word out. You can register for the event here.
“The fact that the hashtag #RestoreBissell has been trending in Edmonton today is really a testament to how much people want to help and how much they value the Bissell Centre in the community and it means so much to us,” said Komarniski.
© Shaw Media, 2014