Portage la Prairie has become to new home for several families in the last couple of years. Newcomers have arrived from Syria and Ukraine, and the MCC Thrift Shop and Furniture Plus have been here for them.
General manager Kevin Hamm notes the stores are glad to be able to lend a helping hand.
"We are going to continue to be helping the newcomer families as they come to Portage," says Hamm. "We've already helped about five Ukrainian families and we're on our third or fourth Syrian family already."
Hamm explains groups who are assisting the newcomers contact MCC and request clothing, bedding, furniture and housewares.
"And we directly provide gift certificates to the families in the form of hundreds of dollars worth," adds Hamm. "They get to do their own shopping and pick out the things that they need that suit them, and fit them and their families. We're really, really excited about getting to know them and having them come to be regulars in our store."
He says a number of the new residents come and volunteer at MCC, and adds MCC is extremely glad to have been asked to take part in providing these needs. Hamm says people don't often realize they provide hundreds if not thousands of dollars every month to those who are in need.
"They come to us through social agencies, through churches, through community groups, and if there is a need and we can help, then we'll provide it for free," notes Hamm.