416-435-4753 mike@mikebeard.com

A RETAIL STORE?

FOR A CHARITY?

3 reasons the new store works for Camphill Communities Ontario.

I have been working with Camphill (camphill.on.ca) for years. I thought I knew them. The Camphill I know is a heartfelt charity which provides countless opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. Then, just before Christmas, they opened a store.

A store? What’s this about? How does a risky retail adventure, on the main shopping street in our small city, help adults in need? Yet, here we are in summer, the store is flourishing.

Here’s why. Here’s how it helps. And it’s not what you might think.

1. COMMUNITY: Until the last few years, Camphill was virtually unknown here in Barrie and equally invisible in nearby Angus, where the rural ‘farming’ community of homes, craft studios and gardens has existed for 30 years – in virtual silence. Promoting its presence on our preeminent shopping avenue raises awareness throughout the city, serves as a bulletin board for Camphill activities and facilitates ticketing of events. The store serves as a signpost proclaiming ‘here we are’ and ‘this is what we do’, but perhaps even more importantly, ‘this is how we fit in’.

2. OPPORTUNITY: The Camphill Store helps attract interested volunteers and draws the attention of the political movers and shakers, i.e. those who can really help the organization in fund raising, in government door-opening and in gathering those who will pitch in to help the vulnerable. In other words: the skilled, experienced, socially connected life blood of any viable charity organization. Employers are welcomed. They can see first-hand the successful employment of Camphill ‘companions’.

3. CREATIVITY: The store cements Camphill’s unique position as a creative force, seamlessly blending the weaving, painting, ceramic and woodworking talents of the adults they help, with established and emerging artists in Barrie. The store, as a gallery, showcases all. Blending the innocence with the polished is part of what Camphill does best. A core value is integrating people of all abilities within the overall community for hope, for opportunity and for acceptance.

The Camphill Store is located at 123 Dunlop Street East, in Barrie, Ontario. You can call directly: 705-739-1833. Or email thestore@camphill.on.ca.