Newark Neighbours News (Archived)
February 14, 2019
Please read the exciting announcement in the Community section re the Reif Estate Winery March Food Drive in conjunction with Taste for Hunger. And please support Reif and Newark Neighbours with this initiative.
Fall/Winter Update 2018-9
The past months have been very busy at Newark Neighbours and we apologize for not updating the website.
After more than 25 years it was time for some changes! Paul and his crew at New Services Painting painted The Barn in the shade of green chosen by our members and we think it looks fantastic! It will blend in once the leaves are back on the vines and it looks cheery against all the ice and snow that we have seen this winter. It looks so nice we aren’t even calling it The Barn anymore! Once that was complete we had the driveway and parking area refurbished. Walker Aggregates very kindly donated the gravel at no charge and The Gravel Doctor spent a great deal of time properly grading the base and then spreading the gravel. Finally, just after New Year, Peninsula Flooring came in, leveled our very uneven floor and laid carpet throughout the thrift store. Marion is a little jealous that the food bank didn’t get carpet but we will upgrade that part of the floor when it gets a bit warmer. We received excellent prices on all this work and the store now looks so much nicer, seems warmer and is a much more pleasant environment to both work and shop in. As a side bar – sales on our first day open in January set a record and we received nothing but compliments about our clean new appearance. if you haven't seen our new look please come by and see what you think.
In October, in conjunction with Rotary of Niagara-on-the-Lake, we held our first ever thrift shop donation drive where we picked up donations at local houses. It was an overwhelming success as we had pick-ups of excellent quality items from almost 50 homes. This was so successful we are hoping to organize a similar drive again this year.
The period leading up to Christmas was exceptionally busy with many donations arriving from churches, organizations and individuals. Major food drives were held in conjunction with the Candlelight Stroll, Santa Claus Parade (with help from NOTL Hydro, NOTL Rotary, Bethany Mennonite Church and the Niagara Area Jeep Club. Both Hendriks’ (Old Town) and Phil’s (Virgil) Valu-marts organized significant food drives as well. Creekside Senior Estates, Stone Road Residents, Kent Heritage Farms and Walker's Fruit Market were very generous with their donations.
We can't forget the NOTL Sparks, who once again provided beautifully decorated gift bags that we filled as part of our Xmas hamper and gift program.
Our volunteers had been kept busy sorting and managing all the food and thrift store donations plus prepping and distributing the Xmas gift and food baskets. In addition to the normal activities, a team was responsible for tearing down and moving all the racks, displays and inventory (twice - first everything squeezed to the back of the store, then everything to the front) and then reassembling everything to allow for carpet installation.
Now is also a good time to recognize some suppliers who quietly help us out during the year. UPS (Old Town) provide us with a complimentary mail box and Dawland Farms Landscaping do a great job with complimentary (and timely!) snow clearing.
We really cannot thank everyone enough for all your support this past year!!
October 1, 2018
Please see the new tab under "Community" announcing our one time donation pick-up project, which we are operating in conjunction with Rotary of Niagara-on-the-Lake. If, for whatever reason, you can't make the trek out to Newark Neighbours to drop off your donations - we can come to you on this one day. Pre-registration is required. N.B. This event has passed.
Week of August 10, 2018:
In addition to our core mission of supporting our food bank, we, at times, support other charitable organizations. One local organization we feel very strongly about is Red Roof Retreat, located just outside Virgil. Steffanie Bjorgan and her team run an amazing operation providing unique respite and recreational programs for young people with special needs in the Niagara region. The story of Red Roof’s beginning and subsequent growth is a compelling one and a demonstration of what our local community, both personal and corporate, can accomplish when they set their minds and hearts to it. In recent years we have donated our July gross sales (before any expenses) to Red Roof and that continued this year. This year’s cheque was a significant increase over last year’s and was presented to Steffanie by Hilary with support from Elaine, Suzanne, Karen, Pat and Liz (behind the camera).
Another local organization we support is the Westview Centre4Women. Located in St. Catharines, WC4W provides 8 meals a week to an average of 4-500 disadvantaged women. In addition they offer clothing and linens, a pantry, haircuts and limited child care. They also provide self-help workshops and, in general, a safe welcoming environment for those women who need it. At times we pass on food in excess of our needs, or with potential code date issues and clothing and other thrift shop items if space is becoming an issue for us. These items help the women get re-established in new housing situations, or provide
clothes for job interviews. We feel they are a worthy cause and support their mandate.
Week of July 14, 2018:
We are pleased to announce that Barbara Alhuwalia was recently awarded an Ontario Senior of the Year Award, which recognized, among her other accomplishments, her 20+ years volunteering at Newark Neighbours. Barbara is pictured receiving her award from NOTL Town Councillor Betty Disero and Hilary Bellis.
Week of August 3, 2018:
We have just created the Designer Corner for designer-name clothing. This allows us to charge a bit more for the better clothing items that we receive. We hope this will encourage the donation of more premium items, knowing that we will earn a bit more. We are making this change without losing sight of our primary customers, for the majority of what we sell. The Desigber Corner has already been a success as some very nice items have come in and gone right back out to customers!