by Rachel Everett-Fry, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Kemptville Salvation Army Thrift Shop held a grand opening celebration on July 16.
The celebration, held on location at 200 Sanders Street, included a ribbon cutting ceremony, a food truck, promotions, and prizes.
Though the store has been open for shopping for some time, an official opening was delayed due to Covid-19 lockdowns.
The new location is worthy of celebration: is it much larger than the previous location on Asa Street, beautifully appointed, and centrally located to best serve the community.
Erin Wong, pastors of the Kemptville Salvation Army Church, noted that 130 individuals and families are currently being supported by the Salvation Army food bank.
Regretfully, she says, this number is triple what it was before the pandemic struck. The new store, however, is, “generating the funds that we need to keep going.” She also noted that the volunteers and community support in meeting increased demand has been outstanding.
In attendance at the grand opening included a number of Salvation Army representatives: our own Erin and Calvin Wong, spokesperson Glenn Van Gulik, and members of the Salvation Army provincial headquarters, Major Tina Rideout and Major Chris Rideout.
Also in attendance were Judy and Jim Beveridge of B&H Your Community Grocer. Jim and Judy are the landlords of the new facility, and generously offered a year of free rent to the Salvation Army as they renovated the building.
Dozens of the volunteers and members of staff who have made the new store so exceptional were also present, and were recognized for their contributions to the project.
Mayor Peckford said that,
“unequivocally, this Salvation Army is an absolute gem in this community. I can’t tell you how many calls we take from residents in distress. And our first piece of advice is, you need to call the Salvation Army.
We’re not as well serviced in North Grenville as we need to be when it comes to mental health, when it comes to housing, when it comes to food security, when it comes to supporting residents who are struggling: no matter their age, their stage in life, their professional background. It can happen to any one of us. And I really appreciate that the Salvation Army is a place that we can send people, and know they will be treated with dignity and great care. It’s a wonderful day for North Grenville .”