Conference for Community and Family Services/Thrift Store a success!

by The Salvation Army in Canada
Categories: Newswire, ONG News

For the first time ever, the Ontario Great Lakes Division hosted a Community & Family Services/Thrift Store Conference entitled “Restoring Dignity”.  Folks from all across the division gathered at Guelph Citadel on September 20th and 21st for two days of learning, networking and fellowship. The conference was organized by the Business Administration department at DHQ along with committee members from various divisional ministry units.

Lieut.-Colonel Lee Graves, Divisional Commander, welcomed the delegates and shared a key note devotional address based upon the words of Jesus found in Matthew 22:39 where we are told that we must “Love our neighbour as ourselves”.   He talked about the many opportunities that arise in both Community & Family Services and Thrift Store ministries to practice this commandment and share God’s love with those who come through our doors.  On the second morning, Lt.-Colonel Alf Richardson shared the story of the “Feeding of the Five Thousand” from John chapter 6 enhanced by slides taken during his trip to the Holy Land in 2011.

Presenters from different fields of expertise came together to provide an excellent array of information, resources and best practices.  From Tackling an Energy Crisis, to Health & Safety 101, to Restorative Practice, to Beyond Food Banks, to Customer Service Essentials, to Thrift Store Best Practices, speakers were chosen to represent the goals and objectives of The Salvation Army and to provide strategic information which the participants could then apply to their operations.

Delegates also had the opportunity to network and learn from each other by sharing ideas and successes from their own situations.  Display boards and laptop presentations were set up in the lobby by various ministry units.   Two “Lunch and Learn” sessions were included featuring Joanne Tilley from THQ Social Services and Mike Couture, Divisional Volunteer Coordinator for the Ontario Great Lakes Division.

Based on the evaluations completed by the delegates at the conclusion of the conference, the unanimous feeling was that more of this type of training would be most welcomed.


Lieut.-Colonel Lee Graves, Divisional Commander, and Major Glenda Davis, Area Commander, chat with David Court and Michele Walker, NRO, following their presentation on Thrift Store

Gail Barker, Founder of Stellar Coaching and Consulting in Strathroy, ON presents on Customer Service Essentials

Divisional leadership gathers with workshop delegates for morning devotions