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The Winkler MCC has seen a strong start to 2019, though staff say more furniture donations would be a big help.

Store Manager Peter Kornelson explains donations typically remain strong in January, though he notes item donations drop in February and March by about 30 percent until the first garage sales begin in spring.

He notes they could use more furniture and housewares as more selection leads to more sales. Furniture especially remains a popular department, he says, as many newcomers may need couches and chairs as they become established in the community. Currently, the store is also renovating their housewares department to add more retail space.

While volunteers remain strong, the Winkler location often records approximately 300 active volunteers, he says more help is needed in the clothing department. "Our volunteer base is aging as well," he says, adding they hope to see younger supporters come on board.

In the end, he says the work continues to be gratifying for staff and volunteers, "it has a purpose and meets a need, and the world has a great need."

Last year the local MCC donated $540,000 to overseas aid.

Locally, $28,000 was granted to local non-profits such as The Bunker, Salem Foundation, Faith Mission, Eden Foundation, BTHC Foundation, Pembina Valley Pregnancy Care Centre, and Gateway Resources. The Pembina Counselling Centre and Winkler Family Resource Centre, as well as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winkler/Morden/Altona.

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