In the summer of 2012, I returned to Winnipeg from the reserve. I was 4 months pregnant and not employed. I began to job search. Well, I didn’t have luck finding a job. As soon as I told them I was pregnant I was not considered for the position I applied for. I didn’t experience discrimination like this before, it felt awful. So, I ended up on assistance. Not a good feeling either, I was made to feel even more ashamed for accessing help. The first EIA worker I dealt with made me feel so low about myself that I wondered how people can go through this, on a daily basis. I was given a hard time by this worker and was shamed for coming for help. That didn’t stop me though because I needed help. What an awful experience to go through. After that, I met up with an old friend who told me about PFSS and that’s where my peace of mind began. I was introduced to an organization that would help me get back on my feet and made me feel good about myself again.

I attended prenatal sessions there. I also utilized the free counseling services. Counseling helped me get a hold of my thoughts and feelings and helped me to put things into perspective. I felt empowered by talking to another woman who helped me see the light again. I was alone and broken down when I first came to PFSS, then I met the staff and felt the love. This organization helped me with baby supplies and emergency food when I needed it. I took comfort in knowing that there was no judgment and no shaming.

I participated in the activities at the Resource Center and enjoyed meeting other people who understood what I was going through. As my daughter was getting older, I put her on the waitlist for the childcare. When she was two, she became a TCC child. The TCC staff helped us with the transition and was very understanding and reassured me, it’s ok. She will be ok. Well, my girl was ok. My daughter has flourished since being in the TCC daycare. I took the parenting classes offered by PFSS. Nobody’s Perfect and Positive Discipline. The classes are a great chance for parents to build on the skills that we all have and can utilize. What a way to feel good about being a parent. I learned many new skills and built upon the skills I was already using.

I signed up to volunteer for the summer, as I waited for school to start. I was pleasantly surprised when I was offered a casual position with the agency and began work at the Family Resource Centre. My self confidence went through the roof and I began to feel empowered again in a different way. I just couldn’t believe it. This organization has seen me at my lowest and brought me back up to my highest that I have been in awhile. They believed in me enough to hire me and work with community members. The Resource Centre provides a vital service to community members and beyond, the doors are not subject to catchment areas. I am so grateful for this organization helping me become whole again. PFSS (Thrive) is a very important organization to this area and to the people it helps. This world is tough and has many obstacles. If we can make it a little bit easier for someone to have a better day, why not help others?

I believe in the power of love; this organization has lots of love to give to people. I am so blessed to have them in our lives. Thrive is very important to the people in the community. This organization is a staple in this community.

I believe in the power of love; this organization has lots of love to give to people. I am so blessed to have them in our lives. Thrive is very important to the people in the community. This organization is a staple in this community.


Hi. My name is Adoar. People called me Teddy.

This place has really helped me. Helped me quit drinking. The services are good, I didn’t realize til about 2 and a half years later I didn’t drink. I stayed sober. My friend would ask me to go drink and I would say I can’t, because I have to come volunteer here. I have been coming here for 8 years. A friend of mine told me about it. I was short on food one week, I got talking to one of the girls here if I can get help. Next thing you know I’m at the office asking if I can start volunteering. I used to pick up clothing , food at harvest and help set up for Thrive events. I used to clean up the garbage. I really like volunteering here. It’s helping me stay sober a lot. And it keeps me busy. Thank you for everything!

This place has really helped me.


I’m 44 yrs old and I’m clean now. I want to start by telling you how I became this man. I now understand how my anger, low self-esteem and wanting to be normal opened the door for addiction and created a person I was not.

As far back as I can remember, I knew I was different. As a boy, I could notice I had learning disabilities. I would not sit still, couldn’t focus on a single task for long. By the time I was a teenager I knew I had this “Twitch”, a movement of the head. At the age of 22 I found out I had tourette’s syndrome. My addiction has mostly been about self-medication and the ADHD/OCD I’m diagnosed with too.

 In 2010 I had been incarcerated for six years already, I was introduced to a man named Stan. He was brought into help men here to offer guidance and support, upon their release back into society. I have maintained contact with Stan over the years, even in my struggles. Stan was promoting the men’s program at Thrive Resource Centre. He asked me a couple of times to take part, I wasn’t sure at first. I gave in and haven’t missed a meeting since the first two. I have been an active participant always. I have found a place I can be open, honest, and truthful without feeling judged too. I now have become an active member / volunteer of the group, the Resource Centre and the Thrift Shop. I’m starting to get to know staff, volunteers and some clients too.

 As I build supports, and friends here I feel they are truly caring people too. I can recall missing a day recently, two staff members reached out to me, just to say; “We care about you”. It truly lifted my spirits. I now find myself building a foundation of supports, and friendships too. I look forward to my days there, I never feel alone or different either.

Thrive is truly and honestly becoming my “Circle of Support”.

Thrive is truly and honestly becoming my “Circle of Support”.


If you’ve been to the Thrive Thrift Shop in the past year, you’ve most definitely seen a bubbly person with a smiley face behind the cash register desk. Chelsea has been with Thrive for over a year, first as a volunteer, then as a paid cashier.

I started volunteering at Thrive Thrift Shop because I needed work experience and heard about this place from a friend who had volunteered for a few days. I was nervous but also really excited to get back into work after being off for about 10 years. I used to be physically and mentally unwell, until I finally got help for my lifelong eating disorder through a program at the HSC Clinic.”

Chelsea, determined to overcome this disorder, quickly progressed at the clinic and was able to leave the course early.  This in turn gave her the confidence she needed to return to a work setting. Chelsea knew she would have to return to work in stages so she started by accepting a volunteer position at Thrive Thrift Shop. Thrive was a perfect place for her to engage with others and continue her path of healing. She found herself enjoying it immediately. 

I like that we get a lot of regular customers. It adds to the experience to know them on a personal level. It’s nice to make them feel good when they come here. And, I like that it’s more flexible for my physical limitations.”

It’s significant that Chelsea was able to twice take a chance that initially scared her—first in getting help, and then in returning to work—and she came out smiling both times.  So, what would Chelsea say to someone else who might also be afraid of stepping out of a scary situation? 

She answers in her recognizably forthright and bubbly manner: “JUST DO IT! Because you never know what good can come out of it. Whatever happens will be a learning experience. You may never feel ‘ready’, so…you just gotta take the leap!”

JUST DO IT! Because you never know what good can come out of it.


Addie Schlamp is in her 90s, and has been volunteering with the Thrive Thrift Shop for over 10 years!

“I first got involved with the shop the day I walked in with my friend Barb,” explains Addie.  “They needed someone to work on Saturdays so I started to do that and the occasional Wednesday. It was definitely something new as I had never been in a thrift store before!

“The first thing I noticed was that there was A LOT of stuff in the back!  In fact, there is a great selection of goods, and you can always find something new. It wasn’t long after I started that I found myself really enjoying meeting with the customers and listening to their stories.”

In fact, that’s part of what keeps it interesting for Addie: the people she meets.

“It feels like a family,” she says. “You get to know them personally and get to know them by name. Some of them have passed on since I started volunteering here.”

But there’s one customer who stands out.

“That would be Joe!” exclaims Addie. “Because he jokingly said that it took me too long to get back after breaking my shoulder.”

Addie’s friends and family were quite happy to find out she volunteers at Thrive.

“It gets me out (of the house) and keeps me active and social. In fact, I would advise anyone thinking about volunteering or donating to the store to just do it. It’s a great experience and a great feeling to be helping people in need.”

And what does she do when she’s not at the store?

“You’ll find me either gardening, playing bridge, visiting sick friends, or knitting.”

Thank you for all your dedication to our store and customers, Addie!


Did you know that Thrive Thrift Shop is completely run by volunteers? It takes about 100 volunteers a year doing over 2,000 hours of service to the store!  That’s about 60,000 hours of donated time in the last 30 years! A round of applause for our caring volunteers!

It feels like a family


Phyllis started work in the warehouse part of the Thrive Thrift Shop, sorting and pricing items. Margie joined a little later. Whether on their own, or as a team, they have been amazing volunteers. For instance, when the shop was running short of plastic bags Phyllis and Margie canvassed some of the large stores in the area to donate bags that were destined for the landfill.  One time Margie got her ladies church group to help a colleague to collect clothes for infants. And Phyllis has been dedicated to helping out the jewelry department, taking the donated jewelry home, sorting, cleaning, bagging and pricing the items on her own time.

Part of the work they did together was to try to keep the store as well stocked as possible with items needed by people living in the area. Also, on many occasions they would take clothing home to repair and then return them in clean, working order.

One story that really stands out was the time two young women came into the store looking for clothes. One of them explained their mission: “My friend is going to a job interview tomorrow morning and needs something suitable.”  Jackets and skirts were found but not a good matching top. Finally, Phyllis said to Margie, “You have the perfect top. The one you’re wearing!” Margie went into the kitchen, took off her top (and put on a replacement) and handed this top to the young woman. She was thrilled that someone would literally offer the shirt off her back to help her out.  We don’t know if the young woman got the job after buying the perfect top in such an unusual manner, but Phyllis and Margie definitely felt good about going that extra mile to help someone. In fact it’s what a lot of our volunteers do.

Phyllis and Margie have since moved on from volunteering at the shop but want everyone to know how happy they are to have contributed to the success of the Thrift Shop, and that these days you may see them on the other side of the counter, shopping as customers.

They wish to give thanks and blessings to all who made their time at the Thrive Thrift Shop a happy and enjoyable one.

She was thrilled that someone would literally offer the shirt off her back to help her out.