A social enterprise that’s been years in the making is finally coming to fruition at Sarnia-Lambton Rebound.
Plans are underway to open The ReFound Store — a thrift shop geared towards local youth, run by local youth — in the coming months, thanks to a grant of more than $147,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
“We recognized this was a need in the community, and it’s been two or three years in the works,” said the agency’s Sarah McCann, noting they were able to secure the grant as part of the Resilient Communities Fund — geared towards projects that help rebuild an organization’s capacity, enhance their resiliency, and meet the changing needs of their communities.
The ReFound Store is being marketed as a local social enterprise powered by Rebound, “committed to selling sustainable fashion, creating learning experiences for youth and providing an inclusive shopping experience.
“All profits collected will go directly back into our local community to support, empower, and uplift our young people.”
Beginning next week, youth will be able to bring their gently used clothing to the Rebound office, where staff will price and purchase the items.
A checklist of items to be accepted is available online.
The store will also be hiring young employees, hosting youth-themed events, and showcasing young entrepreneurs and ‘makers’ in the community.
It’s expected the store will open in early 2023, as Rebound continues its search for a location.
“This has been an honour and a privilege to see it evolve; it’s such a great opportunity for young people,” said Maddisyn Fisher, Rebound’s fund development and marketing coordinator. “I know when I was a teenager, I would have loved an opportunity like this.”
Funding for the project has also allowed Rebound to hire the ReFound Store’s manager, Eve Astolfi.
“I believe in the capacity of young people to be powerful change makers in our community,” she said. “I am immensely grateful to have this opportunity to join the wonderful team at Rebound and to be able to walk alongside our local youth on their journey to creating something great for themselves and for Sarnia.”
For more information and updates on the ReFound Store, visit refoundstore.ca