Superfluity Thrift Store officially opens its Christmas store called ‘Simply Christmas’ on Nov. 12th, and that section of the store is overflowing with lots of colourful, attractive items related to the holiday season.
“Our Christmas room is full,” said Lori Larocque, chair of the board at Superfluity, referring to where all of the Christmas-themed material is kept prior to being put on display.
“Our crafters have also gotten to work, and decided what they were going to make this year,” she said, adding that the craft theme this year is gnomes.
“A lot of the stuff that we get is new, or if it’s not new it’s hardly been used,” she said. “We are talking toys, bulbs, garland, hats, decorations, stockings, tins, musical stuff, pillows, candles, ornaments, dinnerware, mugs – we probably have a mug fr everyone in Stettler,” she added with a chuckle. “There are also pictures, CDs, books, and nativity books – and it’s all donated,” she said. “We are very, very fortunate.”
There will also be a section where Christmas villages will be on display as well.
Superfluity Thrift Store continues to serve the region while providing funds to many community projects, programs and services.
Used clothing, books, toys, housewares and small appliances are accepted at the store, which is located downtown at 4832 – Main Street.
As for the Simply Christmas tradition, it’s only a few years old but Superfluity had started having a special Christmas store in the previous location about five years ago, explained Larocque.
“We used to bring everything up from the basement and set it all up, and then one year we decided – once our crafters got started – to make up a Christmas room.
“We set it up like a store and people loved it,” she said.
Besides celebrating Simply Christmas, Superfluity board members and volunteers are also marking 40 years of community service in 2020.
“We had plans for a tea in the spring but that had to go by the wayside,” she said, referring to the pandemic’s impact. There are plans to have a plaque mounted on a special bench to be placed out front of the store next spring.
“The plaque will be dedicated to the volunteers who have worked here over the years,” said Larocque, who has been involved with Superfluity for 12 years now.
In the early days of the store, organizers phoned local communities in the area and asked if groups of ladies could come and help out at the store on a certain day of the week.
“So four people would come in from Botha, and another six from Donalda – they each had a day. And we still have one existing team that is related to the town they are from, and that’s the Erskine team! Everyone on that team is still from Erskine.
“Originally, it was an opportunity for a lot of stay-at-home moms whose kids were in school to come and have some socialization. So that was a big part of it, too,” she explained.
Currently, more than 100 volunteers help out in a number of ways, but these days they are operating at about 80 per cent of that number, she said. “Part of that is because we have to limit the size of the teams,” she said.
Ultimately, every bit of profit is donated back into the community, or to agencies that contribute to the community like Ronald McDonald House or the Stollery, for example. Although because this has been a challenging year, they are only supporting the local groups. But that is of course just a temporary measure, she said.
For Larocque, working at Superfluity brings a rich sense of fulfillment.
“I think that what keeps me passionate is that first of all, it’s work that I love to do because I’m an organization ‘nut’,” she said with a smile. “Helping people in need is the biggest thing, and giving to the local charities,” she said.
And thanks to Stettler and area’s constant support, Superfluity has been able, in turn, to be a solid community supporter in so many ways over the years as well.
“This really is like a ‘constant fundraiser’!”