Skip to content

Who We Are

BASES Family Thrift Store, located in Burnaby, is on Coast Salish territory in the traditional and ancestral lands of the hn̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and skwx̱wú7 mesh speaking people. Our neighboring community of New Westminster is also in Coast Salish territory on the traditional and unceded lands of the qiqeyt people. Both cities are home to Indigenous people from all over our country. With 50% of Burnaby’s population born outside of Canada and more than 100 languages spoken by its residents, it is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Canada as is New West similarly diverse with 35% of its population born outside of Canada.

Our Mission

We will provide opportunities for children, youth, families and our community that lead toward success and independence.

Our Vision

A community where all children, youth, and families are able to develop strong foundations for an independent, positive future.

Our History

Our History

In 2011, two Burnaby Community School Coordinators saw a need to support vulnerable children and families South East Burnaby. The idea was to create a way so that all funds raised would go back to the community providing sustainable funding in the neediest Burnaby schools. Accessing grants proved difficult and unreliable. Inspired by the work of the Royal Columbian Thrift Store, the idea of starting the BASES Family Thrift Store was born. The grand opening happened in October 2013.

In 2014, BASES raised a few thousand dollars and was thrilled to supported 4 Burnaby. By 2018 BASES had expanded its support to 12 schools from both the Burnaby and New Westminster School District. Our partner schools in Burnaby and New Westminster now include:

Armstrong, Byrne Creek, Cariboo Hill, Edmonds, Maywood, Morley, Second Street, Stride, Twelfth Avenue, Windsor, Fraser River Middle, Qayqayt and Lord Kelvin.

Since 2012, BASES has donated over $550,000 to programming for children and youth in our community.

BASES continues to focus on our goal of helping marginalized students have opportunities that align with other students and that they enjoy the possibility of doors opening throughout their entire school experience. Canada will be a better place when those who are underserved receive opportunities that are assumed by most Canadians.

Our Partners

McEwen Family Fund - Ward McAllister - Heather Brookes - Carole Rice - Marilyn Simmons - Kathy Richardson - Core Learning Resources - Sharon & Allen Domaas - Judi McQueen


BASES is dedicated to building strong foundations for children, youth and families in Burnaby through the work of BASES Family Thrift Store and our program partnerships with schools in Burnaby and New Westminster.

The volunteer Board of Directors is the body accountable for the overall governance of BASES, keeps the non-profit focused on its mission and provides support and oversight of the Executive Director. The BASES Board is responsible for financial management, strategic planning, setting ethical standards and values and ensuring legal compliance as a charitable non-profit organization is followed. Directors take on a variety of roles through committee work, oversee the school grants program and communication with our school partners, volunteer as needed in the thrift store and serve as ambassadors for BASES in the greater community.

Board of Directors

Peggy Woodruff (President)

As a former teacher and small business owner, I came to BASES Board with a passion for supporting vulnerable children. I am fortunate to live in a community where many cultures come together to live and grow. My children are now raising their children in this part of Canada that has become home to refugees and so many immigrants

Emily Sutherland (Vice President)

I am a retired Burnaby teacher and a long-time resident of the city. I feel very fortunate to serve on the BASES Board and to continue my relationship with the community. BASES commitment to supporting youth and children reach their “full academic, personal and physical potential” resonates strongly with me. In my experience, the children and youth in Burnaby and New West schools (with the guidance of dedicated staff) enrich their neighbourhoods and our larger community. However, some children and youth may need additional funding support to ensure that they have equal access to out-of-school programming. I know that when equal access is available we all benefit.

Janice Froese (Treasurer)

As a retired CPA, Janice welcomes the opportunity to use her accounting skills to give back to the community. From growing up in a small town where community was important to being a Rotarian for over 30 years, service is an integral part of her life. She especially enjoys working with youth through Interact, Rotaract and the Boots for Kids program. As a Burnaby resident, she is also environmentally active with Eagle Creek Streamkeepers and the Burnaby Lake Park Society. BASES is a perfect fit for her by combining her skills and interests providing opportunities for youth through raising funds in an environmentally responsible way.

Cathy Milne (Recording Secretary)

A Burnaby resident since 1988, Cathy has long been committed to service in her community. She volunteered in many capacities at her children’s elementary and high schools, and has been active in various charitable activities at her church, including a 20 year stint as treasurer. Recently retired from paid employment, Cathy brings a background in banking, payroll, and HR to the Board. Cathy feels privileged to serve on the Board and is fully committed to the mission of BASES, as well-supported children and youth result in a better society for all. In her spare time she can be found reading, walking, singing, and camping off the beaten path.

Brenda Hain (Director at Large)

After 35 years as a primary teacher and elementary school librarian in the Burnaby School District, I was eager to remain involved with children and families when I retired. BASES has provided a perfect volunteer opportunity. Each week I spend time sorting and shelving the books that are donated to BASES Family Thrift Store and I’m always happy to help our customers locate a favourite author or title. The income generated at the store allows us to support programs for children and youth in Burnaby and New Westminster. I feel so fortunate to be part of this organization.

Al Post (Director at Large)

After 33 years as a Classroom Teacher, District Consultant, Head Teacher and Elementary School Principal in Burnaby, Al retired and was eager to join BASES as a way to give back to the community he has worked in for so long. The income generated at the store allows us to support programs for children and youth in Burnaby and New Westminster. I feel fortunate to be part of this organization and I look forward to learning more as I become more involved over the years.

Don Strutt (Director at Large)

After retiring from business, I found myself looking for new challenges and a way to give back. When I came upon BASES, I knew I’d found a tremendous opportunity to help make a difference in the community. The BASES business model resonated with so many things that are important to me. Creating space for the community to recycle good used clothing and household items by donating them to the store, reduces waste. Selling items at low prices creates affordability for low-income households. The store, run by a small core of paid staff and many dedicated volunteers, creates unique opportunities. For many of our student volunteers and those new to Canada it’s an opportunity to gain experience and develop new marketable skills. For our more experienced volunteers it’s an outlet to build new and lasting friendships, Lastly, the giving. All proceeds are given to support after school and out of school student programs in a number of local public schools. BASES, its volunteers and such terrific results truly inspire me. I feel I’m most fortunate to be a part of this local success story.

Dale Owen (Past President)

I have always been passionate about serving my community, having been a part of several arts and education related boards over the past four decades. I have been involved with BASES since 2012 and I am continually inspired by the vision and commitment of my fellow board members, grateful for the dedicated, generous volunteers and donors who support our cause. As a retired Burnaby community school coordinator, I understand firsthand the positive impact BASES has had in funding accessible, quality after-school programs for all our children and youth. In my free time, I am on the pickleball court and singing great choral music.

Isabel Barros (Executive Director)

As a daughter of immigrant parents, I know firsthand how the lack of finances can limit the extra curricular experiences of a child. As a parent, I became deeply involved in my children’s school PAC and worked with our parent team to fundraise for projects and programs so that no child in our school would be denied any opportunity to participate. Unfortunately, not all schools have the same ability to fundraise successfully. BASES strives to be that organization that works to level the playing field for all children in our community. Working to create access to quality afterschool programming for all children in our community is our goal.