If you have clothes, accessories, or toys that you don’t use anymore, why not donate them to a good cause?
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is hosting a free pop-up clothing store this Sunday, December 23, offering a unique approach to giving away donated goods to those in need.
While the store will operate exactly like traditional shops, with departments set up in different tents and volunteers acting as sales assistants — everything will be completely FREE.
Organizer Christina Wong says, “The Street Store provides a safe space for people to choose what they want and need, instead of being given what people think they need.”
Street Store Vancouver was launched in 2014 after Wong was inspired by a senior she met while handing out care packages in the Downtown Eastside.
Starting as an individual stall, five years on the Street Store has an almost festival-like feel, with 10 tents and 50 volunteers serving shoppers. Haircuts are also available for free, as well as soup, sandwiches, and hot chocolate by Brittania High School and Fairmont Hotel.
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Wong recalls a particularly heartwarming memory, when four-year-old Justin noticed her holding a toy guitar at the Street Store.
“It was both a heartbreaking and heartwarming moment. His parents explained they couldn’t afford a Christmas gift for him, but the little man still got the Christmas gift he wanted,” said Wong.
She continues, “Many of us are so fortunate to shop for what we like. By donating to the Street Store, you are giving a memorable, valuable, and dignifying experience to people in need.”
TELUS, the title sponsor, is setting up a mobile health clinic at the store and supplying socks that were collected through a team member drive.
This Christmas, the Street Store is expected to see 1,000 shoppers of all ages. If you’d like to donate to the cause, all you have to do is ensure the items you are donating are in good condition (no stains, holes, or rips), and bring them directly to the Street Store this Sunday at 8:30 am.
When: Sunday December 23, 10 am till 4 pm
Where: 62 East Hastings Street, Vancouver