For three decades, the Sparwood New to You program has had one purpose: helping those in need. It has done so through many incarnations and changes over the years, but the focus has never changed.
It began in the basement of the Sparwood Alliance Church under the direction of its founder, Pat Shultz, and originally all donated clothing was available for free to those in need. The group’s purpose then branched out to include a food hamper distribution.
Over a period of many years, with the help of many volunteers and two location changes, the project began to grow. The society recruited help and branched off from the food hampers to the St. Michael’s Church, and then as the facility ran out of room to manage both projects, the Sparwood Food Bank was created.
The New to You program committed to helping fund the food bank, and did so by charging a minimal fee of $2.50 per grocery bag of clothing. Today, it charges $5 per grocery bag or $10 for a garbage bag full of clothing.
In addition to the food bank, the not-for-profit New to You society has expanded to helping other groups and organizations with funding over the years from its current location in Centennial Square.
Judy Lindley, the New to You manager, said the society couldn’t do its work without the help of the many volunteers, past and present, and in the future.
“If you have a few hours to spare, you can help us help others,” she said. “We accept donations of clothing, household items, small furniture, sporting goods, books and DVDs. If you have something to donate and are unsure, just give us a call at 250-425-0390.”
New to You is located at 129 Centennial Square in Sparwood.