Dead­line ex­tended

July 21 now last date for submissions to Make Our Home­town Beau­ti­ful com­pe­ti­tion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND -

When Belinda Woods no­ticed a need for an ac­ces­si­ble out­let that fea­tured cloth­ing, fur­ni­ture and other house­hold items and tools, she opened a free store in the base­ment of the Na­tional Bank build­ing on Wa­ter Street.

But with the re­cent sale of the build­ing, Woods is wor­ried it will mean the per­ma­nent clo­sure of the store.

“We were asked to va­cate the space. It’s my un­der­stand­ing that the new own­ers want to have it avail­able in or­der to bring more busi­nesses or com­pa­nies into the build­ing.”

Woods opened the store in De­cem­ber 2016.

“We’ve proven that this is a needed re­source in the com­mu­nity and in re­turn the com­mu­nity sup­ports us. We see a cou­ple hun­dred peo­ple each time we’re open.”

Woods learned on July 6 they would have to re­lo­cate the store by July 31.

“We’ve al­ways known this wasn’t a per­ma­nent op­tion. We were lucky to have the space for as long as we have. It was gen­er­ously do­nated to us. We never could have guessed that it would reach this level.”

Peo­ple come from across the Is­land, she added.

“You don’t re­al­ize the need un­til you see it like this. What’s re­ally spe­cial is that when you come here, there is no judg­ment. You come and take as much as you need and don’t need to worry about what Belinda Woods, founder of the Free Store, with a dress made from ex­cess fab­ric do­nated to the store. The Free Store is be­ing forced to move from its cur­rent lo­ca­tion with the sale of the Wa­ter Street build­ing that cur­rently houses it.

peo­ple think of you.”

Barb Dy­ment, a man­ager at the free store, said vol­un­teer­ing there has been re­ward­ing.

“I have met so many peo­ple from all walks of life who be­lieve that what we of­fer is needed.

“We’ve helped peo­ple in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions, peo­ple start­ing over for var­i­ous rea­sons, and peo­ple who could use a help­ing hand.”

To lose the store would be a

blow to Is­lan­ders who need it, said Dy­ment.

“Shop­pers are re­ally grate­ful for the store. Some need pay­cheques for rent, gas, and gro­ceries and don’t have any left over for lux­u­ries like cloth­ing, toys, fur­ni­ture, small ap­pli­ances and other house­hold items.” Woods agreed.

“It’s hard to think that in this day and age that peo­ple are still faced with this. But it is

hap­pen­ing and it’s hap­pen­ing in Sum­mer­side and across the Is­land.”

Now Woods, Dy­ment and other free store vol­un­teer staff are hop­ing a new space will be do­nated to house the store.

“We’ve got so much stuff. So maybe it is time to move on from here. It’s time to find some­thing new.”

The dead­line for res­i­dents to self-nom­i­nate or nom­i­nate a prop­erty for the Make Our Home­town Beau­ti­ful pro­gram in Char­lot­te­town has been ex­tended to Fri­day, July 21 by 4 p.m.

The gar­den­ing pro­gram, for­merly known as Make Char­lot­te­town Bloom, is de­signed to rec­og­nize those who main­tain build­ings and land­scapes within city lim­its.

The cat­e­gories are com­mer­cial prop­er­ties, curb ap­peal, edi­ble gar­dens, gar­den­ing in small spa­ces, com­mu­nity en­gage­ment, chil­dren and youth gar­dens, birds and the bees, wa­ter wise gar­den and the mayor’s award. Each cat­e­gory will be judged on its unique fea­tures, va­ri­ety and colour of flow­ers, de­sign and over­all aes­thet­ics.

Ev­i­dence of en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly, sus­tain­able prac­tices will also be noted. En­trants are en­cour­aged to in­clude pho­tos or sto­ries to sup­port their sub­mis­sion. The mayor’s award will be pre­sented to the prop­erty owner who demon­strates the best over­all im­prove­ment to their home or grounds.

Any­one in­ter­ested in be­ing a vol­un­teer judge can con­tact the city at 902-566-5548. Sub­mis­sion forms can be picked up at City Hall on Queen Street. A dig­i­tal copy of the en­try form and cat­e­gory de­scrip­tion are avail­able on­line at city. char­lot­te­­town­beau­ti­ful.php.

Con­tact the mayor’s of­fice at 902-566-5548 or email Jill Ste­wart at jstew­art@char­lot­te­town. ca.


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