The Kindness Closet (called TKC hereinafter) is taking the next step in its journey to becoming a fully functioning social enterprise. We are moving into a store front location just a few footsteps away from City Market in Saint John! This is an amazing location for our first physical space as it will provide great opportunities for customer growth and client outreach.
TKC has been lucky enough to secure a discounted rental rate starting March 1st, 2022, thanks to a generous community member and building owner. The physical location will house the Kindness Closet thrift boutique, where thrifted, vintage, and upcycled clothing and items will be sold for affordable prices. Within the walls of TKC will be space for local makers to sell their items with a portion of proceeds going to programs. TKC will also house a mini “take what you need, leave what you can” food bank with non-perishable food and common household/hygiene items.
Within the first three months of physical operations, TKC will be launching our “Shop Assistant Volunteer Program” that will serve women that are involved in the justice system. This program will allow women to learn transferable work skills in a supportive environment and provide compensation in the form of grocery gift cards (dependent on number of hours of volunteer service). Upon receipt of further funding, paid employment opportunities will be available to women and men involved in the justice system via the Kindness Closet, and our sister business – Mellow, a temp agency – which is in the process of incorporating.
For the past year, TKC has existed in the digital realm and we are so excited about this expansion. We aim to make the Kindness Closet a space where all people feel welcome, comfortable, and heard. We offer sizes XS – 4X and plan to expand this size range when availability allows. Our prices are kept purposely low so that people can enjoy curated thrift items without hefty price tags. We also keep hundreds of pounds of textiles and items out of landfills every year. Within 6 months of opening our storefront, we intend to offer low cost and free workshops to the general public on topics such as self love and Naloxone training. There really is a piece of this organization for everyone - regardless of where your passions lie.
In our past year of online service, we have contributed to a number of projects and organizations:
-250+ clothing items sold and kept ouf of landfills
-150lbs of clothing given directly to women in need
-2250 meals sponsored for children in India
-18 safety alarms donated to a local harm reduction organization and distributed to sex workers after targetted attacks
-$125 raised via a $5 quick sale for Afghan evacuations during the Taliban takeover and donated to Operation Flyaway
-98 food items gathered for local foodbank
-1 local single parent family sponsored with Christmas gifts
The past few years have shown me that our life will almost never go according to the plan we set out. The one thing that has remained a constant through my entire life, is the value of being in service to others. My late grandfather, Frank Dunn, instilled this in me from a very young age, and having lost him in these past few years, I feel strongly that now is the time to act on the lessons he taught me. I am truly taking a leap of faith in moving forward with my dream of operating a non-profit. This dream has been years in the making and to see it taking shape is indescribable. I have not earned a single penny from my work with TKC so far, and in fact have invested thousands of dollars of my own money to get it going. All money from sales thus far has been divvied out to the projects mentioned above, or reinvested to build inventory. I am currently making my way through three separate grant applications, and plan to apply for more as I find them. If you are aware of any grants that might fit with this work, I would so appreciate you send them my way.
In addition to grants, I am reaching out to family and friends for their financial support. My goal is to raise $10,000 and this will cover everything from rent, other operational costs, and direct programming. If you have a preference for where your money goes, please contact me.
The Kindness Closet is incorporated as a non-profit organization, but is not currently registered with the CRA for tax exemption, and therefore tax receipts are not available at this time. I apologize for this inconvenience. As soon as we are in our physical location and programming has begun, we will compile our application and are hopeful to be registered to give tax receipts by year’s end.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out via this fundraising page. I thank you in advance for your support!