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Senior sources surplus goods to support those in need
Published Wednesday, January 25, 2017 12:31PM MST
Des Peplinski spends hours on his computer doing charitable work linking people who have things they want to give away with people who need them.
Peplinski and his wife, Loyola, moved to Calgary from Ottawa when they retired and ten years ago, the couple started an initiative called the Helping Others Network at St. Stephen Protomartyr Ukrainian Catholic Church.
They began collecting used items like furniture, clothing and appliances and in the beginning, the Peplinski’s garage served as a warehouse to hold all of the donations.
Loyola passed away in 2014 but Peplinski continued with their work by using email to match donors with recipients.
“I got about 400 people on my list that when I send out an email, for example, if you need a couch and Dennis has a spare couch about 400 people will get that request and away it goes,” said Peplinski.
Dennis Yurkiw is a mental health worker and friend and says Peplinski is a humble, down to earth guy who gets things done.
“Is basically kind of a meat and potatoes guy, you know. What do you want? What do you need? When do you need it? You know, how's the best way to get it to you? And I’m talking about primarily a lot of household items,” he said.
Marilyn Comchi got involved with the Helping Others Network when she was the pastoral care person on the St. Stephen parish council and says there is no red tape.
“You need? They have, let's get it together. There's no pondering things, there's no, do these people really deserve this or don't they? Or do they really need this or what are they gonna do with it when they get it? No questions like that,” said Comchi.
Peplinski says the economic downturn in Alberta plus the arrival of numerous refugees has had an impact on the Helping Others Network.
“We used to have more than we could use and now we're short,” he said.
For all he does to connect those who have a surplus of things with those in need, Des Peplinski is our inspiring Albertan this week.
(With files from Darrel Janz)