Dave Penner, Winkler MCC Thrift Board Chair, was thrilled and grateful to see 200 of 300 volunteers show up at the Volunteer Appreciation Lunch held on Monday (April 22) at Central Station. 

“Once in spring and once and fall, we [have] our volunteer appreciation. This was the biggest turnout we've ever had, which was great.” 

Penner believes that recognition is important, because they could not accomplish what they do without the volunteers.  

"The work that they do is so important. We have a lot of people that donate products and we have very many people who come and buy [products], but if we didn't have the volunteers to clean up the product, to sort it, to polish it up, price it and put it on the shelf, then we have nothing. And if we are to pay somebody to do all that work, then there would be nothing left for MCC Canada.” 

For ten years, MCC Thrift has been a big part of Penner’s life. He has seen many volunteers come through the doors including some that have been volunteering for 25 years. 

“As a matter of fact, just this morning we were celebrating somebody's 95th birthday. He is still a volunteer. We have two that are 95 and we have a couple who are 93. They have been there a long time.” 

Penner believes strongly in the work that MCC does around the world. He says that at any given time, MCC helps people in 50-60 countries. These are usually people who are in distress because of weather conditions, drought or war, to name a few.  

“Just last week I got a message saying that their first shipment finally got into Gaza. A shipment of food."

Penner and the team at MCC Thrift have a message for the community. 

“Thank you so much for donating the product because without it we have nothing to sell. Thank you so much to everybody who comes to purchase products. Thank you to the community for continuing to support us, as we try to support people all around the world. Thank you to the many businesses that donated to the appreciation lunch. And to the volunteers, thank you very much for giving us your time so unselfishly and regularly and with such commitment.” 

Listen to the full interview with Connie Bailey by clicking below.