Orphan Aid Thrift Store
By YP Contributor

Gently Used Items for a Good Cause

Orphan Aid Thrift Store is a volunteer-run store that sells second-hand merchandise generously donated by local Burnaby residents. Proceeds go to support the care and education of HIV-AIDS orphans in Zambia through the Abbottsford charity, Seeds of Hope Children’s Ministry.

Inside the well-maintained shop, you’ll find a great selection of gently used clothes, books, housewares and much more, all organized by a team of friendly volunteers who are passionate about helping others.

Everything we sell is donated and we get so many donations. It’s just wonderful because the people really appreciate our store and the cause. - Elfie Takasaki, volunteer board member
Orphan Aid Thrift Store

100% Volunteer Run Thrift Store

In 2007, the shop was opened by a group of passionate Burnaby Christians who were impressed by the difference Seeds of Hope was making in Zambia and wanted to support the cause.

Within the first seven years, after paying the rent and utilities, we sent over $500,000 to support Seeds of Hope,” says Elfie Takasaki, one of the seven volunteer board members who run Orphan Aid Thrift Store. “Everything we sell is donated and we get so many donations. It’s just wonderful because the people really appreciate our store and the cause.”

“Everything here is done by volunteers and we all really enjoy doing it because we work for a good cause,” says Elfie. “Most of us are retired and sometimes it’s hard to get enough volunteers because people have busy lives, but we’ve been managing.”

Orphan Aid Thrift Store
Orphan Aid Thrift Store

Shop with a Conscience

In 1995, Abbottsford residents Susan Chalkias and her husband John founded Seeds of Hope, the charity Orphan Aid Thrift Store supports. “Susan felt God’s calling to start an orphanage in Zambia after being there and seeing the dire conditions that many children are living in. All the children in the orphanage are from HIV parents and some of them are near death. So they bring them back to health there,” explains Elfie. “One of the children had elephant foot disease, so Susan and John made arrangements for the operation. Almost everything was donated, his trip to the US, the doctor’s time and now he can wear shoes without pain and he’s the happiest kid.”

They have also built houses for eight families and built a school for kids from kindergarten to grade 12, which in 2013 saw their first graduates. They train local people to ensure it runs as self-sufficiently as possible, but it’s still looked over by Seeds of Hope. While Elfie hasn’t visited Zambia, a number of the other passionate volunteers at the store have. “They come back and they are just so excited about this place.” Knowing that Orphan Aid Thrift Store has something to do with this success is an extremely rewarding feeling.

Orphan Aid Thrift Store
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