The Mennonite Central Committee is making a major move from its digs on Marshall Road to downtown Abbotsford.
MCC BC has purchased 8.5 acres on Gladys Avenue that will house MCC thrift shops, home office, local programs, the Material Resource Centre, Ten Thousand Villages, a café and more.
“We are not just investing in a physical structure,” said Wayne Bremner, executive director of MCC BC. “We are building on a legacy of compassion, increasing our ability to support MCC’s relief, development and peace work around the world.”
The MCC Plaza Thrift Shop in Clearbrook will remain where it is and the MCC Furniture and More and MCC Abby East Thrift shops will move to the new building, along with the offices and Material Resource Centre on Marshall Road.
By raising funds to purchase land and consolidating these two thrift shops, MCC BC looks to save more than $350,000/year in lease costs. Consolidation will also increase efficiency and reduce staffing costs. More retail space combined with a highly visible and accessible location with ample parking will increase thrift sales, supporting the work of MCC around the world.
The Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA) is also excited to welcome MCC to its membership. Tina Stewart, executive director of ADBA, and Paul MacLeod, president of the ADBA, both expressed appreciation for the thought and planning that has gone into the site and the new building.
“The new MCC building is certainly going to be a welcome addition to our Historic Downtown Abbotsford,” they said. “We anticipate that its presence will be a great draw for patrons from all around the Lower Mainland to visit our downtown and enjoy all of our boutiques, shops, cafés and restaurants.
MCC is a worldwide ministry responding to basic human needs and working for peace in more than 60 countries.
Along with its thrift shops, MCC also has several programs in BC working in the area of abuse prevention, HIV/AIDS education, supporting refugees and newcomers and more. The ultimate goal with this new building is to decrease operating costs and increase resources to support its local and global work.
More than $6 million in donations and pledges have already been raised towards the $10 million needed before the anticipated ground breaking in June 2013.
“I’d much rather see our dollars go towards our own property and building, something that’s ours,” says Martha Brandt who volunteers at the MCC Abby East Thrift Shop. “Hopefully down the road the next generation will look back on our decision and say that we were forward-thinking in our actions.”
For more information or to contribute to this project, visit www.mcclegacy.com.