Social Impact with Super Thrift Thunder Bay
By Kelsey Raynard
It is no surprise that thrifting has an enormous environmental impact, but did you know that shopping secondhand can have an equally powerful social effect? This month, we are proud to feature Adult & Teen Challenge Super Thrift, a used clothing and homeware superstore that is funding a holistic and transformative rehabilitation program for people struggling with addiction right here in our community. Adult & Teen Challenge of Central Canada (ATCCC) is a faith-based organization dedicated to providing longterm, holistic rehabilitation for people struggling with addiction. With such a high demand for treatment options in our city, the organizers at ATCCC created the Super Thrift store as a means to help fund their women’s live-in rehabilitation program. Students within the program also help to run Super Thrift (which happens to be the flagship store) as a way to gain employable skills. Once treatment is complete, graduates often stay within Super Thrift, powering both the program and the store. Terrence McKenzie, the development director for Teen Challenge here in Thunder Bay, says that not only is the store continuously getting busier, but they are starting to see a younger generation coming in to look for vintage treasures. However, unlike other secondhand shopping stores, store manager Jay Mann explains that customers can see the difference they are making right there in the store. “When you shop here, you can directly see the impact you’re having. We are all graduates here, so you know where your money is going and the influence it is having.” “We aren’t looking at helping people just through tomorrow,” says McKenzie. “We want to help them through the next day and on through the rest of their life.” This month, Super Thrift is showcasing a wide range of items, reflective of the wide variety of products they carry. First up, we have a bold canvas print (perhaps a premonition of rain instead of snow!) for $9.99. Next, we have a black wool fedora ($19.99) paired with a chunky wooden necklace ($1.99). Underneath, we have a trendy StreetWear Society turtleneck (size large for $4.99). We all know March weather is unpredictable, to say the least, so top your look with a Relativity leather jacket (size medium for $29.99). Accessorize this outfit with a Belcor cross-body bag ($4.99) and a cosy knit black scarf ($0.99). Lastly, we have a pair of chic Le Chateau pants (size 30 for $6.99) paired with a Joe Fresh belt (size medium for $2.99) and sleek brown ankle boots by Blowfish (size 6.5 for $9.99). Check out Adult & Teen Challenge Super Thrift located at 107 Johnson Avenue or keep up with their latest items and sales on Facebook @SuperThriftTbay. You can also support the rehabilitation program directly by sponsoring a student through monthly donations. Visit teenchallenge.tc for more information.