Hub nears half-way mark in fundraising drive

Historic building revitalization prompts the Hub’s first-ever public appeal to reach $350,000 goal

The Hub has worked to improve the community of Mississippi Mills in large and small ways for 44 years offering donated recycled goods at fair prices. In all that time, not once has it made a public appeal for financial donations. But long-time volunteer and current president Eloise Caverson is announcing an ambitious $350,000 fundraising goal.

“I can guess what people are thinking,” said Eloise. “We better have a good reason to ask for their money! We think we do.” $350,000 is the amount required to complete the Phase One revitalization of our long-time home at 118 Mill Street. We have already raised just over $170,000. So with another $180,000, we can continue our 44-year tradition of directing funds to deserving community causes.”

Since it began the Hub has contributed:

  • over $1 Million in donations to more than 100 good causes including Hub Hospice, Youth Center, Christmas baskets, sports teams, Interval House and Lanark County Food Bank
  • over 500,000 volunteer hours from just over 500 people who have given their time and talent
  • an estimated 350 tonnes of usable items diverted from landfill, including clothing, toys, games, books and kitchen items. Plus, large furnishings and electronics from the Rebound home décor store operated by the Hub

The Hub has a long history in downtown Almonte. It opened at 66 Mill Street in May of 1974, until suffering a devastating fire there in 1997. In 1998, the organization’s Board of Directors convinced the Royal Bank to sell them the Hub’s current location at 118 Mill Street for the sum of $1.00.

Now that building, which used to be the old O’Brien Theatre at the start of the 20th century, is closed for overdue repairs and a rethink by local Architect Peter Mansfield. The “wreck-a-vation” phase of removing false ceilings and drywall has revealed the glorious original theatre ceilings over 20 ft. high, burgundy walls and turquoise blue trim cornices … even the projection booth!

Projecting forward, the Hub’s Phase 1 renovation plans show a building that can perform double-duty with offices for social services delivery on an upper mezzanine, and a far more spacious and improved retail display area. The plan also adds communal and sorting areas, upgrading an accessible public bathroom to ensure a more barrier-free environment.

In its revitalized home, the Hub’s recycled community treasures will continue to clothe so many, equip the homes of many more, and provide needed funds to causes and individuals in need throughout the community.

“The fundraising to fix our building is underway,” said Eloise, “But we need another $180,000 to reach our goal.”

Over the years, in their wisdom the Hub’s Board of Directors set aside $100,000 in a building contingency fund. They also applied for grants totalling $58,000, and volunteers have undertaken building fundraisers like the Royal Wedding Breakfast (raised $3,500), a Canada Day Bake Sale ($1,300) and a recent country music benefit dance ($8,000).

Here’s what members of the downtowns Almonte retail district wrote about The Hub in its successful building grant application:

“The HUB has anchored the top end of our retail district and has contributed to the vitality and wellbeing of our community for decades. It has helped democratize the shopping experience and brought people into the downtown that might otherwise not come. 

It has given people jobs that they might otherwise not be able to get and has put hundreds of thousands of dollars into various causes and projects that have helped make Mississippi Mills a progressive, inclusive, sustainable and protective community.”

“Isn’t that great?”, said Eloise. “Now we need to do more. With more financial help from local individuals and businesses, The Hub can honour its past and enjoy a bright future in Almonte’s Historic District. Our volunteers can continue to inspire the 13,000-plus people in our community to help each other in very meaningful ways.”

The Hub is a charitable organization and can issue tax receipts.  Please make cheques or money orders out to the Almonte Community Coordinators. Then mail them to The Hub, Box 538, Almonte, Ontario K0A 1A0.  Or donate online at www.thehubalmonte.com.

“I hope we can count on many new and existing contributors to help The Hub. Please be generous,” urged Eloise. “I think you’ll agree The Hub is a community institution that deserves to inspire more acts of kindness and volunteering throughout our town.”