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Second Chance History

The Bethesda House Second Chance Clothing store was started by a group of volunteers in the early 1990’s. The dual purpose was to provide women experiencing domestic violence with clothing when needed, and to raise funds to start up, and then help buy food and other supplies for the first Bethesda House shelter. At that time Bethesda House had no stable funding and was relying on the goodwill of the community. In 2001 the Provincial Ministry of Community & Social Services agreed to provide annualized funding to cover most of the cost of providing basic shelter and Outreach service. However Bethesda House still needs to raise funds to cover the remaining costs and to enhance those services to meet the specific, and growing, needs of our community. The proceeds from the Second Chance store helped cover this funding shortfall.

The volunteer team is a wonderful group of people of all ages (from high school students up to Senior Citizens), with new members joining those who have volunteered with the agency for many years. from the beginning.

Over the years the store has changed locations a number of times. In the fall of 2007 we thought we had finally found a permanent home with the opening of the store in the new Bethesda House building at 25 King St West in beautiful, historic downtown Bowmanville.

That home took a dramatic new twist with the fire that devastated the building in April 2008 and the subsequent grand reopening of the newly constructed store at that same address in October of 2009. The store remains at that location, still provides clothing at no cost to women, youth and children experiencing violence and abuse, while continuing to offer the community a wonderful shopping environment for customers looking to find high quality gently-used and new clothing, shoes, etc. at low, low prices.