Adult and Teen Challenge open doors to shoppers

Students Bryson and Jesse flank store manager at the Superthrift Store grand opening.

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The Adult and Teen Challenge Superthrift store hosted their grand opening, July 20.

Store manager Steve Keesic said they first came to Winkler to offer their addiction services. “We really noticed that a few years ago, that there was a need for development and there were people that were struggling in the Pembina Valley region,” Keesic said.

Keesic said Chris Derksen, who represents Southern Manitoba for (ATC), was sent to the area to start working with the program years ago by hosting small groups and other programs. Keesic said Derksen’s work is what led to the creation of the thrift store in Winkler. “The really awesome part of this store is that every single day we get guys who are in the one year long treatment program,” Keesic said.

He added that the store helps the people in the program to learn basic skills they never had a chance to learn or utilize, aiding them in getting their life back on track. The store offers a work detail program with the one year rehabilitation program so the participants can learn responsibility, structure or other areas in their life where they might be lacking. “One of the unique things is that we don’t have a residential program located in Winkler,” Keesic said. “In other areas, in Thunder Bay, for example, in Brandon, where we have thrift stores, there are centres there. . . Normally we have a centre then open a store, we did it the opposite way here.”

He said his hopes are for the store to help fund further projects and help build men’s and women’s homes and a centre further down the road.

“That’s really what’s important to Teen Challenge, is that it’s not about us, we’re serving God here. But He’s doing something and we need to trust that every single day and he’s going to bring it to fruition as we’re faithful with what we’re given,” Keesic said.

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