(Above: Sandra Edwards, the owner oinds Dandelions Consignment. Photo by Barry Gray.)
It’s often been said that it is better to give than receive.
Sandra Edwards, owner of Dandelions Consignment, has embraced that philosophy. Not just for the Christmas season, but as a way of life.
Her generous nature goes back to her childhood. “We would get a care package from Newfoundland,” she said. “We would sit on the floor and go through stuff. I did the same with my own family.”
The tradition of the care packages evolved. At her old house, she used to keep bags of clothes on her front porch.
“You could just take what you needed,” said Edwards. “People didn’t even have to knock on the door.”
As a local small business owner, Edwards is constantly looking for ways to give back. One way is by donating the unsold clothing.
“At the beginning, all the shoes went to Guatemala,” said Edwards, “because that was the biggest need. Then Ecuador and Tanzania and other countries in Africa.”
The snowsuits now get shipped for distribution in the Ukraine.
While those items go abroad, many more items from the store stay local. For some clothing goes to Lanark County Interval House, a women’s shelter.
“They have a store – some of the clothing goes directly to the women and their needs,” said Edwards. “Some are sold in their store. But 100 per cent of the proceeds go directly into the House.”
Through Dandelions Consignments, Edwards also donates to Main Street Community Services, charities abroad and gives books to local schools for their book fairs.
Beyond that, Edwards find other ways to be supportive of charitable endeavors. Dandelions Consignments is a bra drop-off location for Free the Girls (http://freethegirls.org)
Edwards also tries to be involved by supporting Canadian and especially local businesses. Those include Special Finds, Eco Chic, Sweet Belly Wrap and CaliKids.
“I like to be very, very local, very community focused,” said Edwards.
So why the community-minded focus?
“I guess it’s just who I am – I’ve always given back,” said Edwards. “I feel fulfilled. If I’m not helping you to learn something or help you out in some way, I feel like I haven’t done anything.”
Truly, it is better to give.