This Place MattersIt’s a rainy day in Steveston, B.C., but that doesn’t stop the many community bargain hunters from stepping into the Richmond Hospital/Healthcare Auxiliary Thrift Shop for a browse through an amazing inventory of donated goods. Run entirely by over 100 volunteers, the shop sits in a beautiful heritage building that was formerly a Methodist Church, built in 1894.

Recently purchased by the Auxiliary, our volunteers were well aware of the daunting task ahead of them and that major renovations would be required to ensure that the iconic structure, a well recognized and beloved landmark in the Steveston village, would continue to stand distinct and proud.

A beloved landmark in the Steveston villageTo help raise the considerable funds required for such an extensive renovation, the Richmond Hospital/Healthcare Auxiliary entered – and was chosen to participate in – a THIS PLACE MATTERS crowdfunding competition organized by the National Trust for Canada. This June 15 to July 17, 2017 competition invited groups across Canada to identify local projects and compete for cash prizes and votes, while raising funds to improve the vitality of their historic places.

“This innovative competition brings community members together to raise funds and awareness to save and renew beloved historic places, while generating community pride. By participating in a THIS PLACE MATTERS competition, organizations learn new skills in fundraising, social media and media relations, and mobilize support in their communities and beyond.” (thisplacematters.ca)

Despite the intense competition and having to quickly learn the nuances of crowdfunding, Richmond Auxiliary president Colleen Kason was grateful for the opportunity to participate. Though the Auxiliary did not win the West Regional prize of $30,000, it did rally local support, raise spirits and bring in an impressive $26,000 in donations. It also heightened awareness of the ongoing campaign to restore and renovate their heritage building. So too, being a participant in a Canada-wide competition put a spotlight on all Auxiliary thrift shops as “places that matter” in their community.

(Article retrieved and revised from richmondhospitalhealthcareauxiliary.ca)