Superfluity Thrift Store in Stettler continues to serve the thrifty needs of the region while funding countless community projects, programs and services.
“We have shoppers from all over central and south Alberta and they tell us we are the most reasonably priced thrift store in central Alberta, between Drumheller and Camrose, and Highway 20 to the Saskatchewan border,” said Wilma Zurfluh, president of the thrift store society.
“People from Calgary who spend time at Buffalo Lake during the summer come here to shop.”
Although the service has 65 volunteers, the popular and well-respected store could be facing a dire future without more and younger volunteers.
“At this time we are considering plans to reduce work days because of a lack of help,” said Zurfluh.
“We are in need of volunteers so we can continue to serve the community.”
Used clothing, books, toys, housewares and small appliances are accepted at the store downtown Stettler at 5015- Main Street, opened Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We need more and younger volunteers because it takes a lot of work and many of our volunteers are aging and not as capable of doing such heavy work and we find it very hard work sorting and the boxes are very heavy.”
“The future of Superfluity depends on the number of new and younger volunteers we get,” said Zurfluh.
Serving at the store once or twice a month or more, volunteers are required to sort, unpack boxes and bags, stock shelves and clean and repair the products to present them for sale in the best possible condition.
“Some days we get donations that are stacked three for four feet high,” said Zurfluh.
Opened in 1980 as a source to recycle and provide funding to the community, the store provides a valuable service to its clientele that inspires the volunteers to serve.
“It’s our way to give back to the community,” said Zurfluh.
“We know it’s for a good cause and some people cannot afford to buy brand new, so they come here.”
Funding from the Superfluity helps the society donate about $50,000 annually to countless projects, programs and services, with $50,066 doled out last year.
While the store raised $87,642 last year, the society also had to pay expenses of about $35,000 for rent, insurance, waste removal, maintenance and other utilities and services as costs continue to rise.
Supefluity makes regular funding contributions to various programs as services located throughout central Alberta, serving the needs of local people.
The list of the organizations, associations or events that Superfluity contributes to is almost like who’s who of community services.
Supporting significant projects, Superfluity:
• donates $1,000 on a monthly basis to Stettler and District Handibus Society.
• provides a monthly free swim time at Stettler leisure pool.
• donates to lunch programs in local schools.
• regularly supports Stettler and District Family and Community Support Services and Stettler and District Food Bank.
• supports seniors’ housing projects and programs.
• buys equipment for Stettler Hospital and Care Centre.
Regardless of the modest size of the store and its humble operations, Superfluity reaches out beyond the local community and gives a hand even to regional organizations and charities, including Stollery Children’s Hospital, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Women’s shelters in Red Deer and Camrose, Loaves and Fishes in Red Deer and Mustard Seed ministries and Ronald McDonald House in Red Deer.
Last year, Supefluity also made donations to:
• Stettler and District Music Festival.
• Meals on Wheels.
• Donalda Library.
• Stettler RCMP Victims Services
• TTC Outreach school
• Stettler Elementary School
• Salvation Army.
• United Way.
• Stettler Day Care
• Churches for Quilts
• Alberta Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS).
• Various national charities such as heart and stroke, Easter Seals, Canadian Society, kidney foundation, lung association and multiple sclerosis.