For nearly two decades, West End neighbours have been helping one another look good and feel even better. Donna’s Attic Thrift Store (now as known The Attic Thrift Store) at Gordon Neighbourhood House annually takes in huge amounts of high quality, brand name, designer clothes as well as many other items. However it is the generosity and sharing within the community that fuels the store’s success. Donna’s Attic is a West End pillar; congregating strangers into an environment of communion.
Venturing into a store to search for an item can be an aggravating endeavor. However, in a thrift store there is a genuine exchange that takes place. People are donating clothes and other items. Volunteers are lending their time to point out just what you are looking for and the true spirit of giving unto others is honored. A visit to Donna’s Attic will brighten anyone’s day because everything about it comes from the heart.
I spoke with a member of our community, Justine Aaron, about what the store means to her. “Neighbours and visitors have been shopping there for many years and find clothes and miscellaneous items for themselves and their families at extraordinary low prices. I am not sure where many of these people would go to fill their needs if this thrift store did not exist.” Justine, like so many in the west end, believes the existence of such an inviting store brings smiles to those who may be new to the community or those whose bank account leaves them with limited options when providing for themselves. “We will always remember that kind someone who showed us a winter coat that fit us perfectly and carried us through many a cold day.” That’s what Donna’s Attic and Gordon Neighbourhood House as a whole is all about. Neighbours helping neighbours provide for their lives. it’s a beautiful concept. Almost as beautiful as some of the jeans you’ll find in store.
Those who give their time in Donna’s Attic as volunteers help shoppers find hidden gems on a day to day basis. They play a vital role in making the store the warm and welcoming place that it is. I wanted to get Miss Aaron’s account of these special people. What was it about them that was so inspiring. “They make the whole experience a positive and lovely one. They help out by making suggestions and creating a totally personal experience for the shopper. Their social interest and a love of connecting is a true trait of those working in this store.” A member of our neighbourhood, Justine understands that like all individuals you find at Gordon Neighbourhood House; volunteers at Donna’s Attic are called to be of service to the community they love and call home.
Donna’s Attic is just one of many examples of kind and selfless giving that takes place at Gordon Neighbourhood House. The beautiful thing is that through endless donations from people in the community, the generosity is extended back into the house by people that share our streets. Money made goes to fund important programs provided by The House. The Attic Thrift Store’s success is built on the loving time put in by volunteers and its continuing reputation as a great place to find a wide selection of everything under the sun is ensured by individuals that just want to help someone else out. The lesson again is that in a partnership of sharing we all reap the rewards and ‘together we grow’.
Written by Gavin Reid