Charitable Choices: dignified shopping experience with Good Neighbour

Good Neighbour is a volunteer-run store that provides a dignified shopping experience for all Calgarians regardless of income. We spoke with them to find out more about what they do.

Good Neighbour

Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.

Good Neighbour is a volunteer-run, pay-what-you-can thrift store and community pantry located in downtown Calgary.

What problem does it aim to solve?

We want to provide a dignified shopping experience for all Calgarians regardless of income.

When did you start/join it?

We opened our doors in July 2021. This is a sister project to the Calgary Community Fridge which is an outdoor fridge freezer and pantry that we started in August 2020.

What made you want to get involved?

Through the pandemic, we have seen a lot of families falling deeper into poverty. Many are unable to work while housing, food, and clothing prices continue to grow. We also see a record amount of consumption resulting in large amounts of clothing that are still good to wear ending up in the landfill. We are able to provide a sustainable solution to poverty reduction in our city.

What was the situation like when you started?

It was really embraced by the community. We had a large number of volunteers and donors. It was a great exercise in community support.

How has it changed since?

Demand has grown and we have learned a lot about the surrounding communities and what it means to continue to educate ourselves on harm reduction, inclusivity, and diversity. We are trying to keep up with demand and to also continue to educate our customers that we are volunteer-run and donations driven and we rely on donors to keep our store stocked.

What more needs to be done?

We need changes at the policy level to ensure folks have enough money to live. We have lots of folks on disability, welfare, old age security, who do not have enough money to pay for food and clothing and rent.

How can our readers help?

We are open for donations of non-perishable foods and CLEAN clothing on Thursday, Friday, Saturdays from 11-5. Vote for politicians that support initiatives like affordable housing, increase funding for seniors and families living with disabilities.

Where can we follow you?

Instagram

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

Black People United