Birch Bay twins start charity program

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By Steve Guntli

Eleven-year-old twin sisters Sarah and Amy Aginsky were looking for a way to give back to the community for their upcoming bat mitzvah. When they first learned of the Street Store concept, it seemed like a natural fit.

“We picked the Street Store because it started in South Africa,” Amy said. “Our parents were born there and we still have relatives living there, so we felt connected to it.”

The Street Store program was created in January 2014. Street Stores operate like regular retail stores, only without the exchange of money. Homeless people can pick out up to four items of clothing or shoes, while volunteers help them find the right sizes and pairings.

The girls live in Birch Bay and attend school in Richmond, B.C. They are looking for donations from the community to supply the charity event, which will be held at Lighthouse Mission Ministries in Bellingham from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 7.

“We’ve had an excellent response,” Sarah said. “Our school is helping out, and so are our neighbors and lots of people from the community.”

The sisters said most people are donating used clothes, but some of the items are new. Lago Apparel, a screen-printing company in Langley, B.C., has donated about 250 brand-new hats and shirts for the Street Store. Signs by Tomorrow in Bellingham is donating posters and promotional materials for the event.

Clean clothes and shoes for men, women and children can be dropped off until March 6 at the four Whatcom County Vision Plus locations in Bellingham, Ferndale and Lynden.

“We want to thank the community for all their help,” Sarah said. “This is going to be the first of many projects for us.”

For details, contact Lauren Kramer at 360-5695 or laurenkramer@hotmail.com.

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