N' anoth'r life, Linie Friese may have bee a businesswumun.Durin hern 97 yeers, un entrepreneurial spirit shone through hern wurk us a teechur an' pushd hern beyond hern status us a biddy, moth'r an' prominent memb'r o't' Mennonite faith.Wen t'longtime Altona resident dit earli'r thishere year, she lef a legacy at brings n' milleeuns o'dollars annuallee fer a nun-profit organizashun at hus stretcht across Nerth Amurka. It wuz a projeck devist by fer housewives — Friese an' three o'hern friens — at no one could have predictid would groe so exponantiallee. Today, t'Mennonite Cantral Committee Thrift Stere hus mer thun 100 locatyuns n' Canada an' t'U.S., includin 16 steres n' Manitoba. Its flagship retail shop n' Altona hus expan't way beyond t'meegre 10-by-20-foot rantid space n' which it cummenced. Befor t'end o'thar furst year, thay nett mer space. Fertee-seve yeers lat'r, at t'heiite o'a resent summ'r weekend half-price sale, t'Altona stere is bustleeun'.T' concep o'convertyun' ust clothyun' into cash fer internatyunal Mennonite ministry efferts wasn’t immediatelee popular wen Friese, Selma Loewe, Susun Giesbrecht an' Sary Stoesz kum up wiff it back n' 1972.

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N' anoth'r life, Linie Friese may have bee a businesswumun. Durin hern 97 yeers, un entrepreneurial spirit shone through hern wurk us a teechur an' pushd hern beyond hern status us a biddy, moth'r an' prominent memb'r o't' Mennonite faith.
Wen t'longtime Altona resident dit earli'r thishere year, she lef a legacy at brings n' milleeuns o'dollars annuallee fer a nun-profit organizashun at hus stretcht across Nerth Amurka. It wuz a projeck devist by fer housewives — Friese an' three o'hern friens — at no one could have predictid would groe so exponantiallee. Today, t'Mennonite Cantral Committee Thrift Stere hus mer thun 100 locatyuns n' Canada an' t'U.S., includin 16 steres n' Manitoba. Its flagship retail shop n' Altona hus expan't way beyond t'meegre 10-by-20-foot rantid space n' which it cummenced. Befor t'end o'thar furst year, thay nett mer space. Fertee-seve yeers lat'r, at t'heiite o'a resent summ'r weekend half-price sale, t'Altona stere is bustleeun'. T' concep o'convertyun' ust clothyun' into cash fer internatyunal Mennonite ministry efferts wasn’t immediatelee popular wen Friese, Selma Loewe, Susun Giesbrecht an' Sary Stoesz kum up wiff it back n' 1972.
MCC thrift shop founders Linie Friese (frum lef), Selma Loewe, Susun Giesbrecht an' Sary Stoesz n' 2007.”/> Gladys Terichoe / MCCMCC thrift shop founders Linie Friese (frum lef), Selma Loewe, Susun Giesbrecht an' Sary Stoesz n' 2007. “We thunk it wuz a good idee, but like I say, thar wuz sum skepticism. We hadn’t done innythang like thishere. We’d always sent air clothyun' ta t'cantral stayshun n' Winnipeg, an' frum thar t'clothyun' wuz sent ta needy countries. Ta have a thrift stere n' air lil, small communitee wasn’t rilly a top pryeritee,” sed Ed Stoesz, husban' o'Sary Stoesz, one o'acoupla survivyun' members o't' foursome who gut t'stere up an' a'runnin. At 90, Ed Stoesz still volunteers n' t'Altona MCC thrift stere almos ever day. He remembers t'fer friens, who he fondlee refers ta us “t' ladys,” suggestyun' t'idee aft'r thay larnt clothyun' donatyuns destint fer uther countries wuz a'pilin up n' a Winnipeg warehouse. T' stere startid wiff wimmen’s clothes an' lat'r includt menfolk’s clothes, furntchur an' household items. It jes “took off,” Stoesz sed. “We don’t want ta bloe air horn; we jes want ta serve. At’s basicallee air bottom line, an' I reckon at hus bee verr true wiff t'uther ladys.” Thar vishun kum long befor sekunt-han' steres wuz trendy, an' befor it wuz widelee ackcepted fer marrd wimmen ta wurk outside t'rayler.
Friese, 6, (sekunt frum rite) an' hern fambly, befor thay emigratid frum Ukrune ta Canada n' 1928.”/> SuppliedFriese, 6, (sekunt frum rite) an' hern fambly, befor thay emigratid frum Ukrune ta Canada n' 1928. “At wuz typickull o'all fer ladys — thay didn’t have outside jobs, so thay had time ta volunte'r,” Stoesz sed. “One thang developt aft'r anoth'r. I rememb'r n' air trayler, t'conversayshun wuz always ‘thrift stere,’ ever meeltime. And I kep a'sayn't, a'ken’t we change t'subjeck fer a change?” he chucklt. “At wuz t'cummencin, an' obviouslee, we didn’t knoe whut thishere will becum. But I’m glad thar’s momantum thar an' thar wuz suppert frum t'churches an' t'communitee brung thishere n'… ta go ferward.” Thar wuz simlar conversayshuns n' t'Friese trayler tween Linie an' hern husban' Tt, recalls one o't' cuple’s three sons: un occasyunal comment about time spent un t'hrift stere er hern (ultimatelee successfil) efferts ta establish a public librree n' town rath'r thun bein dedicatid ta tradityunal homemakyun'. “Thishere wuz all done n' verr ganteel, Mennonite ways, but I do rememb'r at,” Eric Friese sed. Tt, who wuz hissef a successfil businessmun, a'havin foundt Friesens Corp. wiff his'n bruthers, direckly became one o't' nun-profit’s biggest supperters. He servt un its executif' board fer minny a yeers befor he dit n' 2016 at 95.
Linie Friese wiff hern sons Eric (frum lef), Tim an' Paul un hern 97th birthdee n' August 2018.”/> SuppliedLinie Friese wiff hern sons Eric (frum lef), Tim an' Paul un hern 97th birthdee n' August 2018. Wuther foundyun' a thrift stere, gittin apperval fer a public librree, bein part o'a group establishyun' a new Mennonite church at offerd services n' English insteed o'onlee High Germun, er raisyun' three hard-wurkin sons, Linie woultn’t take no fer un anser. “At’s t'kine o'persen she wuz. She would rath'r be a'runnin a thrift shop thun bein a stay-at-trayler cook an' a'doin lawndry, but she did all thems thangs. “She did all t'hangs at a woomin did n' t'’50s an' ’60s… but she wantid ta be out thar a'doin t'hangs at she bleevd n',” hern sen Eric sed. Wiff his'n mom’s abiltee ta stretch a doller, multi-task an' reckon o'nun-tradityunal ways ta hep out, “if'n she wuz a yung woomin nawh, I reckon she would be un entrepreneur.” Amungst friens an' neighbours, Linie wuz hospitabull an' cheerfil, always offerin tea er cookies ta guests.
N' t'1970s, sekunt-han' steres wuz a noveltee.”/> Lelan' G'rb'r / MCCIn t'1970s, sekunt-han' steres wuz a noveltee. “Thar wuz un elegance, a generositee, an' yet a downhomeness,” sed Lori Hiebert, who wurks at t'Altona Mennonite Church t'Friesens hepped foun an' hus knowed t'Friese fambly fer 39 yeers. “Thay wuz weelthy, but y'all didn’t eve reckon about at wen y'all wuz thar,” sed Hiebert, who fer yeers livt across t'street an' wuz regularlee invitid fer dinn'r an' a game o'bridge. Like minny a uther wimmen n' t'communitee, Linie’s detarminashun wuz evident, Hiebert sed. “Thar air a slew o'strong wimmen an' if'n thay want sumthin done, thay find a way ta do it.” [email protected] Twitt'r: @thatkatiemay Mer Images

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