An Abbotsford not-for-profit thrift store is closing its doors after 15 years.
Above the Underground, operated at #9-31940 South Fraser Way by Mennonite Central Committee BC (MCC BC), will close its doors on May 25 in order to reduce costs, said program manager James Siebert.
MCC’s training programs, such as Youth Keep Working (YKW), will continue to operate at MCC’s other thrift shops. In Abbotsford, they are located at 34150 and 31872 South Fraser Way.
Above the Underground has been both a second-hand clothing store and a retail/customer service training centre for various MCC BC employment programs.
As well, volunteer “associates” received training in customer service, retail sales, promotion and advertising, merchandising and displays, and robbery and theft prevention. They also learned how to write a resume and look for a job.
Kulwin Lali went through the associates program when she considered returning to the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom to three kids for 15 years.
After completing the program, she is now employed at The Bay. She said that working has actually improved her home life.
“I’m more organized, life is more planned, and the children and my husband know that mom works so they have to help out a lot at home,” she said.
Siebert said hundreds of people have gone through the program.
“I am so proud of Above the Underground and how it has given people the opportunity to gain skills, to better their lives and find employment,” he said.
A special closing event is planned for customers, staff and former associates on Friday, May 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information about YKW or MCC BC’s other employment programs, visit findingyourway.ca.