Baha’i Centre helping those in need

Central Alberta’s Trudy Picco and Debbie Oostindie do not believe in hand-outs. The pair prefer to give a hand up to those in need in Central Alberta. The duo are the do-gooders behind the successful Baha’i Centre

Debbie Oostindie

Debbie Oostindie

Central Alberta’s Trudy Picco and Debbie Oostindie do not believe in hand-outs.

The pair prefer to give a hand up to those in need in Central Alberta.

The duo are the do-gooders behind the successful Baha’i Centre Household Exchange. For about a year the women have collected used furniture to give to needy families and individuals in Sylvan Lake and surrounding areas. They have collected tables, chairs, dishes and just anything that makes a home complete.

At times there have been three families a week loading up their vehicles with the donated household items. Picco estimated they have helped more than 30 families alone. Just last week four families had their pick of dishes, appliances and furniture at the centre.

The exchange has helped a cross section of the Sylvan Lake and area community including single mothers, those leaving abusive situations, the elderly and teenagers.

“The demand is there,” said Oostindie.

Picco said you wouldn’t think there is so much poverty in an upscale community like Sylvan Lake but there is.

The women do not ask for money nor do they ask for proof of need in exchange of the household items.

“The only thing we ask you to do is give back some how like volunteering their time,” said Picco. “And people are doing that.”

The idea came out of their desire to help people with a hands on approach. As community advocates, the women recognized there was a need for those in need to get quality furniture at no cost and with no strings attached.

“It’s incredibly rewarding because the people that come out are thankful,” said Oostindie. “It is just so wonderful to help people.”

Oostindie said right now they have a surplus of mattresses but she knows this won’t last long.

The household items are stored in an old building on the grounds of the Baha’i Centre, west of Sylvan Lake. They are in particular need of single beds for children and adults. Stoves and refrigerators are not be accepted. Volunteers are needed to help sort and organize the items.

If you want to find out more about the program, including volunteer opportunities, call 403-887-5728 or 403-887-0968.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com