A thrift store in the heart of Spryfield is turning a crisis into an opportunity for expansion and growth with an investment from the province. Hand in Hand is a unique community-based thrift store that has been helping people help themselves for more than 30 years. The province is investing $37,500 from the Community Jobs and Facilities Improvement Program to help the organization rebuild its storage facility and expand its services. “It is truly exciting that the province can help an organization that is dedicated to building stronger communities by helping families in times of need,” said Premier Darrell Dexter. “Hand in Hand has worked with more than 400 families in the community and, with a little help from the province, this organization will be able to continue making life better when times are tough. I wish Hand in Hand great success as it expands to do even more for families for years to come.” Hand in Hand, a project of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, provides furniture, clothing and other home goods at little or no cost to people in need. In April, the operation was devastated when someone stole the copper pipes linking the storage facility to the oil tank. The vandalism caused so much damage the storage facility needed to be demolished for soil remediation. “This support marks a tremendous milestone for us in our growth of services,” said Heather Coffin, executive director of Hand in Hand. “Without a storage facility, we’ve been turning away donations of things that people need, like couches, chairs and kitchens sets, so it will be great to start taking them in again. “This is very good news for us as we continue to raise funds for this project.” The organization will build a new storage garage and hopes to expand to include a furniture bank and refurbishing project. The group also offers healthy cooking demonstrations and a financial literacy program, with the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development. To learn more about Hand in Hand’s fundraising, go to www.handinhandHalifax.org.
President Maithripala Sirisena said that he hopes it will be possible to hold Local Governance elections under the new electoral system this year.The President made these comments at the closing ceremony of the March 12 Movement, which looked at creating a better political culture in the country, held at the BMICH today. The 19th Amendment to the Constitution marks a revolutionary change. Under the previous government the President retained the sole authority to appoint judges, Solicitor General, Inspector General of Police, Elections Commissioner.People voiced their concern against this and it paved the way for the 19th Amendment. However, after the new government came into power, steps were taken to re-appoint a delimitation committee. Regardless of various allegations and accusations this is a necessary initiative towards the political and social reforms of the country, he said. “Although earlier Local Governance elections were held according to the electoral system, the inaction of the Delimitation Committee has caused the present issues. The main reason to postpone the Local Governance elections is the inability to finalize the limitations of electorates independently and impartially,” President said. He said he considers this as a first step towards the transformation of the country and society.“With the 1978 Constitution individuals not political ideologies became prominent,” he said adding that the present Local Governance election system is a victory of the people.