Nova Scotia

SPCA opens a new thrift store in Sydney to help cover animal care costs

Nova Scotia SPCA is seeking donations and volunteers to operate its new thrift store on Welton Street in Sydney.

SPCA hopes thrift store will generate $100,000 in revenues

The Nova Scotia SPCA's newest thrift store is located on Welton Street in Sydney. (George Mortimer/CBC)

The Nova Scotia SPCA is opening a series of thrift stores throughout the province to help cover the rising costs of operations.

Volunteers and staff are now stocking the shelves at the new Sydney location on Welton street which will open at the end of the month.

"We're not receiving regular funding to be able to provide for the animals in our care," said SPCA marketing director Courtney Barber. 

The new SPCA thrift store will include everything from household items to clothing. (George Mortimer/CBC)

She said their 11 shelters across the province cost upwards of $60,000 a month each to operate and the adoption fees for the animals don't cover those costs.

"The lights, the water, caring for the animals, the surgeries, the vaccines ... so this is going to be truly instrumental in ensuring we can provide more for the animals in this community." 

Barber said they anticipate strong revenues.

"We're hoping in the range of a $100,000 in a year," said Barber. "That would be wonderful, we're hoping to surpass that. The sky's the limit, really." 

Courtney Barber, the Nova Scotia SPCA's marketing manager, says it is hoped the Sydney store will generate $100,000 or more in revenues. (George Mortimer/CBC)

The store will have two paid staff members and is seeking volunteers.

"We are looking for individuals who can give just four hours per shift — once a week, twice a week or once a month — to help get through the day-to-day operation." 

Some Sydney Academy students are volunteering at the store, doing their work placement in a program called Options and Opportunities.

Grade 11 student Robert Keddy said it's a great chance to learn about how to run a small business.

"We started off building shelves and cleaning and we've moved on to stocking the shelves and cleaning odds and ends that come in," said Keddy.

Sydney Academy students Robert Keddy and Nathan Green help get the SPCA thrift store ready as part of a school work placement program called Options and Opportunities. (George Mortimer/CBC)

He said it's been a great learning experience.

"Time management, organization and how to work in large groups and small groups and all that stuff — love it," said Keddy.

Barber said the organization will rely on donations to keep the shelves stocked.

Anyone wanting to help can drop off items this weekend, she said.

The SPCA has three other thrift stores across the province in Queen's County, New Minas and Dartmouth.