Ever wonder what kind of impact your donated goods make on your community? Documentaries like Minimalism: Less is Now and The True Cost highlighted a few problematic practices from some organizations that rely on clothing donations. There can be an immense impact on the environment from discarded clothing and goods.
Bissell Centre takes a more social and environmentally ethical approach to donated goods. Environmental justice and social justice go hand-in-hand – those experiencing houselessness see the most adverse effects as a result of climate change. Just look at our community’s frost bite concerns over the winter and the heat warning over the summer.
Every donation we accept helps us work towards our mission of eliminating poverty in Edmonton. Goods we receive go one of three places: our Family Supports team, our Community Closet, and our two Thrift Shops.
This program sees support workers helping families navigate their way out of poverty. This can include help with childcare and early childhood development, finding permanent housing, and other essentials that help people live with dignity.
Donations to Family Supports provide families with fresh clothing plus home goods to help them settle into their new homes. Home goods can include small appliances, utensils, dishware, and even storage containers.
Nestled in our Community Space, the Community Closet is where individuals experiencing poverty can go for a fresh set of clothes. Many of our community members go weeks or months without changing their clothes. Bacteria can fester in clothing worn for too long, leading to easily preventable fatal infections and diseases.
We supply folks with everything they need to feel more comfortable and confident – pants, shirts, jackets, shoes, and even underwear! In addition, we also offer free laundry services to our community members to ensure that the clothes they have remain clean and comfortable.
Bissell Thrift Shops
We have two locations for our Thrift Shops – Alberta Avenue (8818 118 Ave) in North Central Edmonton and Hermitage (12769 50 St.) in the North East. We also have an online store, an Etsy page, and an active Instagram account showcasing some of the coolest finds donated to Bissell Centre.
But it’s not only about treasure hunting and cool finds. A lot of people in these lower-income neighbourhoods rely on thrift shops for everything from clothes to bedding and even homewares. Plus, 89 cents from every dollar from the Thrift Shops goes back into our life-changing programs. This means you can thrift for a good cause – watch every dollar you give to the thrift store go right back into the community and to the people who need it most.