MCC has reversed a decision to close its material resources warehouse in Plum Coulee.

In January the organization announced it would be closing the facility at the end of June, ending all volunteer activity at the building.

However, MCC Manitoba's Executive Director Darryl Loewen says there was a strong push from local volunteers and supporters to look for a way to maintain the operation.

Loewen says they were able to do that by working out a new lease agreement with the warehouse owners.

"An important part of this ... has been the willingness of the warehouse owners Paul McDonald and Ray Friesen to work something out so that MCC Manitoba can carry on there into the future. They've been a very important part of making the plan work and we're grateful for that."

MCC Canada and MCC Manitoba have jointly operated distribution of relief supplies and volunteer activities out of the warehouse in Plum Coulee since 2004 where it warehoused materials donated from across western Canada.

The decision to close the location was part of a plan to reduce the number of Canadian shipping sites MCC Canada operates and create a single warehouse operation in New Hamburg, Ontario.

Loewen says MCC Manitoba will now continue with the operation on its own but in a smaller space. He says volunteers will still have adequate room to continue their work there.

"I say that because it will only hold the materials that are produced and gathered in Manitoba, rather than warehousing materials from across western Canada when MCC Canada's role was active in that site."

Loewen adds, once pandemic restrictions have lifted, volunteers will be able to gather in groups to help pack material resources items and sew comforters at the warehouse. After these items are packed, they will be shipped to MCC Canada’s central material resources warehouse in New Hamburg, Ontario, and then distributed overseas.


Written by Dean Penner