By Ken Hirter

This month’s Walkabout finds me at one of my favorite thrift shops along the James Street North strip, the New Horizons Thrift Store; “The shop with the bright inviting yellow double doors”.

Upon entering the doors you will find a treasure trove from clothing, home decor, kitchen needs, a book nook plus much, much more. There are also retro, funky vintage finds – all found under one roof. So cool.

A brief history: The New Horizons Thrift Store has been a the staple “to go to” thrift shop which was established here in Hamilton’s North End since the late 1970’s until January of 2008 when  ownership was taken over by the  Welcome Inn Community Center.

It was there where l sat down with the delightful, energetic shopkeeper Amanda Stafford, a proud Northender for the past 7 years, residing here with her husband David and children Adelaide & Harrison.

Amanda’s role is Social Enterprise Coordinator of New Horizons Thrift Store, The motto here which applies to the Welcome Inn Community Center as well is :”Living Well Together”

I asked Amanda her vision for the shop:

To create a Dynamic Community Space for capacity building with the vision to restore this Community Gem & Jewel; a community space first and a thrift store second. It is also providing opportunities for the more than 50+ dedicated youth volunteers improve employment skills for the seniors as well as providing community interaction & community connection.

Amanda is very grateful & thankful to the Welcome Inn Community Center across the board from the staff to her team of volunteers the neighbors and the neighborhood and the stories and interactions is INCREDIBLE and for that l am grateful.” “Also thanks to the volunteers & customers for they’re the best.”

“EXCLUSIVE ACROSS THE BOARD” and her passion lies with being “the meaningful relationships that EVERYONE shares in a Community Space that cares.

I asked Amanda her motto in life and in which she instills in her children:

“Look where your going, not where you’ve been.”

Amanda’s favorite Quote:

“Live each day as if it were your last”

Thanks Amanda for the very informative talk about this wonderful Thrift shop and taking the time to sit down, it was also nice to meet some of the wonderful volunteers upon leaving  through the yellow doors of “THE NEW HORIZONS THRIFT STORE”

The New Horizons Thrift Store is located at 520 James Street North here in the North End, so stop by to browse, buy or simply to pop in to say hello.

Till next month, take care of you and those around you.