Gary Gunther, manager of the new thrift store, Now and Then Northern Treasures is appreciative of all the support being received by the community.

Thrift store switches charity focus from cats to seniors

Now and Then Northern Treasures, once Paws and Claws, to support Prince Rupert’s senior centre

Downtown thrift store, Paws and Claws, had a makeover.

The shop, now named Now and Then Northern Treasures, is at the same location, with the same manager, just with a different owner for a different cause.

Now and Then Northern Treasures, opened it’s doors to the city on Dec.15. They are going to donate to the seniors centre in the city, whereas under the previous owner, the donations went toward spaying and neutering of feral cats. The amount donated will depend on what the store makes after expenses, so it could vary month-to-month, said Gary Gunther, manager of the store.

“[We are supporting] the seniors in the community because there is a need there. There is not a lot of support for them,” Gunther said.

The renamed thrift store, located at 236 Third Avenue West, sells low-priced clothing, furniture, household items and more.

“It is a thrift store for the people and as we were from day one many years ago. The store is set up where we have a lot of items coming in and going out at reasonable prices for the people. And we will continue supporting the community along with supporting the effort with the seniors,” Gunther said.

The Prince Rupert Seniors Centre Association (PRSCA), is trying to get more programs into the centre and donations from Now and Then Northern Treasures will help immensely, said Vikki Fraser, program co-ordinator at the centre.

“It is possible that we ran out of deficit in 2018, and everything costs more, so we are not making the profit margins we used to. So the donations will help go toward recouping some of the revenue that we have lost,” she said.

PRSCA has an affordable lunch menu to offer seniors, as well as many free activities.

“We don’t want to put our prices up too much because some of our seniors won’t be able to afford it… Because for some seniors this is the only good meal they get,” said Bonnie Wekel, president of PRSCA.

As for the BC SPCA Prince Rupert branch, that had received donations from Paws and Claws in the past, branch manager, Amy Stacey is looking forward to having a discussion with the new thrift store, to understand what it means for the not-for-profit animal organization.

“We haven’t really had a chance to meet with them yet to discuss whether they will give us funds or not… I don’t know whether there are any funds available. I am glad they are providing money for seniors, that is great, so we just need to have a further conversations with them to see what it means for us,” Stacey said.

RELATED: Feral cat activist Linda Scott passes away

The thrift store is appreciative of all the support they are receiving from the community. They are looking for donations from people for any household items and if anyone wants to donate bigger items, Gunther said, they will make the necessary arrangements to pick it up.

READ MORE: Heart of Our City, Guardians of the cat colonies

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The thrift store is welcoming donations for all household items including, but not limited to furniture, household items, furniture, clothing, kitchenware, books and more.

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