Be a great neighbour, and visit the Good Neighbour!

December 1, 2022

Recently in Calgary, a new and exciting store has opened where you can “take what you need, leave what you can and pay what you want!”. The motto and philosophy of this store originated from the co-founder Alice Lam. The Good Neighbour is a store where anybody can shop, no matter what your level of income is. The Good Neighbour is located in Downtown Calgary and is accessible to everyone. Its goal is to provide a positive shopping experience for everybody.

So how does it work? People can donate many items to the shop. The store will then display the provided donations with no price tag on any of the items. This means there are no expectations on what to pay, you simply pay what you can. The store holds many things such as clothes, books and household items.

What a brilliant idea! But how did it start? Back in August 2020, Alice helped co-found the community fridge which received produce and non-perishable items for people in need. The fridge gained lots of community support and people started asking whether they could also leave clothes and household items. This sparked the idea of the Good Neighbour.  Alice wanted to establish a store where everyone could feel invited and welcome while shopping, no matter what their financial situation. The good neighbour gives out around 500-600 pieces of clothing a week.

Where does the money go? The money that is paid from the items purchased goes straight back to the community and helps buy food for the fridge. Since the store opened

 $15,000 has been given back to the community fridge to buy food.

The store has helped create a new sense of community in downtown Calgary. What makes this store a success demonstrates the importance of volunteering in your city. The Good Neighbour would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication from the many citizens who have contributed to its success.