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Outreach The Messenger

Addressing needs at home and abroad

For fun-filled dedication that meets some far-flung needs there is nothing quite like the activity of St Martin’s Nearly New Shop – especially as reported by its inimitable co-ordinator Pat Bethel

The Nearly New Shop boasts a bevy of cheerful volunteers and some who would be, their lumbago obliging. All have unstinting tolerance for the co-coordinator’s attempts to make a decent cup of tea. And all bring to the task an astonishing talent for matching clothes with potential to all sorts of clients who had not realized until that very minute just what it was they had been seeking.

This was especially evident in early May when a wardrobe mistress working for the movie industry dropped by to lend a hand. It was amazing to see how her professional eye for the potential of clothes though vastly more practised and faster than that of the regular volunteers was nevertheless on a par with their level of fun-filled dedication.

As for meeting far flung needs: among the fifteen pairs of shorts a friend of the Nearly New Shop took to Botswana was one cut down from a set of Beaver Canoe joggers. The logo advertising “Cedar Strip Canoes” is now attracting attention in the Kalahari. Thanks to a friend with contacts in the Latin American refugee population in Ottawa the Shop is currently assembling children’s soccer shoes to send to an aid project in Liberia. Closer to home the Shop this past season has contributed in kind to Laura MacDonald’s blanket and clothing challenge, the Well, the Mission, and the Ottawa West End Community Chaplaincy (OWECC. )

All in all the parish is indebted to the Shop’s bevy of volunteers that includes Jeanne Statham, Joan Johnson, Marjorie McElligott, Vera Fermor, Ruth Mulligan, Lois Kenning, Mary Monroe-Head, Jacquie Auger, Elsie Patzer and Jan Martin.

If you have spare time on a Wednesday and in need of a fun-filled pursuit, by all means drop by and check out the Nearly New Shop.