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Agassiz thrift store facelift gives it a bright, new look

Makeover stemmed from branch honouring volunteer
The Agassiz-Harrison Community Services Thrift Store underwent a recent facelift, much to the delight of local shoppers. (Adam Louis/Observer)

The Agassiz-Harrison Community Services Thrift Store has a whole new look.

Back in 2020, the AHCS board was looking for a way to honour the late, long-time volunteer Phyllis Stenson. Stenson is a familiar name in the community not only for the hours she spent with AHCS but for her instrumental role in the early days of the Harrison Festival of the Arts.

Stenson passed away in 2020; the bench that sits outside the thrift store has a plaque honouring her.

With the installation of the bench, the board members collaborated on ways to further elevate the thrift store’s look, and the ideas started to come in one after another.

Local businesses and volunteers helped with the facelift efforts, donating and leveling gravel for the thrift store’s parking lot, donating soil for the planters and more. The fabricated planters in front of the store were also contributed by a local business.

“In this project, we got a lot of community support,” said AHCS executive director. “There was no question, (volunteers) were already standing there saying ‘Okay, what do we do?’

Volunteers are not only crucial to the operation of the store itself, but they have come to the aid of the thrifts store in times of special need. In April, a fire was deliberately set at the thrift store, causing damage, volunteers donated time and materials to get everything back in working order.

From the painting to the parking lot, the outdoor renos took volunteers about six months to complete.

The AHCS Thrift Store is located at 6919 Cheam Avenue in Agassiz. The staff at the thrift store would like to remind the public not to leave donations outside the store after hours as donations could potentially be stolen. The store is open from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.