Thanks to community support the non-profit organization, Cochrane Home Treasures, was able to gift local initiatives and charities an incredible amount of money.
Cayley Breeze, Store Manager for Cochrane Home Treasures, shares they were just slightly shy of being able to donate $100,000. "We raised $99,375 and this is the highest amount of donations we have ever done."
Taking in community member's 'home treasures' and reselling them is how the non-profit is able to give back. "Essentially how Cochrane Home Treasures works is the community donates their gently used furniture and home goods to us, we take those items, and then we, in turn, sell them back to the community. Sometimes it's decor, furniture, toys, books, or various other things and we sell back to people who may need or want them."
Once their monthly costs are paid, Breeze shares the rest of the money gets used to support other local organizations and programs. "People apply for what they are looking for by submitting a letter and our board takes a look at who submits and the wants, and then they vote on it as a board as to who gets money."
The board of directors is made up of six members at large; and while many grant-giving organizations receive more requests than funds they can allocate, Breeze states that hasn't been a problem for them as of yet. "We would love if there are people in the community that are looking for funds to contact our board. Basically, we ask that they write up a letter with what you are looking for, for a specific request and we ask that you detail that in the letter. It can be for a program or an event (as long as it is a community event), we just ask that it is specific. The more directed the letter is, the better, so they know exactly where the money is going."
Unfortunately, the granting opportunity cannot be used towards local sports teams just based on the sheer number of groups in town nor can the monies be used to cover off an organziations running costs, such as salary etc. Breeze shares there is no cap on the amount of funding requested and the board reviews requests on a monthly basis, with applicants receiving a reply within a month or two. "We are always looking and definitely trying to spread the money around, but we can only help who asks. We are all local, so it means all our donations go right back into our community."
In order to give to the community, Breeze encourages all community members who are looking to donate gently used household items or furniture to give them a try first. If an item comes in that they don't sell or has been sitting on the shelves for too long, they, in turn, forward the items on to other worthy organizations such as the Cerebral Palsy Association/ Diabetes Association. "It is a little bit more work on their part to pack stuff into boxes and bring it down to us, but it helps your community and it helps us with the charities versus skipping us altogether and going to Calgary."
Over the years, Breeze has seen all sorts of donations come and leave through the front door. From items that are high in value to incredible antiques, nothing shocks the store manager. The one piece of advice Breeze can offer shoppers is, if you see it and want it, buy it. "Our stuff is daily and we are putting things out hourly, it is a constant turn around. Never leave if you are thinking about something because it will be gone when you come back, it happens all the time. It is a very high turnover store."
While there is a list of items they just don't take, the big message for people donating is to make sure the items are only gently used and not broken, dilapidated, or missing in parts. "They need to be in a condition that we can resell, we don't want junk. We don't do VHS, cassette tapes, or tv entertainment centres anymore because there is just not a market for them. If it's past the point we can resell it, then it just makes more waste and recycling for us."
"Everybody deserves the nice and the necessary," shares Breeze, which is why it is the perfect mission statement for the organization. "This year we hope to give back as much or more, and we look forward to just getting bigger and better. "
If you would like to donate your items, Cochrane Home Treasures is located at 10-118 1st Avenue West and requests for funding can be made by emailing [email protected]
The following organizations benefitted from Cochrane Home Treasures 2018 proceeds:
- Cochrane Society for Housing Options
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Seniors on the Bow
- Cochrane Hospice Society
- Cochrane Fair
- Tapestry for Women
- Cochrane Roping Club
- King's Fold Retreat
- Helping Hands
- Seniors for Kids
- RancheView School
- Bethany Family Council
- Cochrane Light Up
- Cochrane Activettes
- Bow Valley High School (two student bursaries)
- Cochrane High School (one bursary)
- Families in Need