Fifty years ago, the grassroots movement of MCC Thrift shops was born. It has grown from a small dream and a handful of shops to a thriving, network across Canada and the U.S. A journey made possible by the thousands of volunteers who greet customers, accept and sort donations or work the checkouts each and every day.

This legacy is worth celebrating!

Since its beginnings 50 years ago, the network of MCC Thrift shops has provided millions of dollars to support the relief, development and peace work of Mennonite Central Committee around the world.

Thank you to all the volunteers, shoppers and donors that have made this milestone a reality!


In March of 1972, Linie Friesen, Selma Loewen, Susan Giesbrecht and Sara Stoesz opened the first MCC Thrift Shop in Altona, Manitoba with an expectation the project might last just three to six months. But instead the shop began to thrive, and produced about $1,000 for MCC during the first six months of operation. That vision for turning used clothing and household items into funds that support the mission of Mennonite Central Committee has grown to be a thriving network of more than 85 shops that provide millions of dollars each year for MCC’s work at home and around the world.

Read a story about the opening of the first shops, featuring an interview with founder Susan Giesbrecht.


As a network of grassroots shops, each location has its own character, history and stories. Throughout the 50th year we’ll be telling some of the stories that make MCC Thrift so amazing! We’ll feature profiles of volunteers, stories of creative shop initiatives and the difference that you have made by shopping, volunteering or donating with MCC Thrift.

Check out the story collection here.