Business needs help from community

Published 8:00 am Thursday, May 25, 2023

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A Lunenburg business that is always helping others is now seeking help for itself.

BLISS of Lunenburg, a thrift store on Victoria’s Main Street that sells gently-used items, is in need of a new HVAC system and is asking the community for help in funding the replacement.

“BLISS of Lunenburg, has helped many families and organizations over the 11 years we have been in business and normally we do not ask for help I normally am giving help; however, we are in need of donations toward a new heating and cooling system to continue our mission.” said store owner Lena Hipps-Clarke.

Hipps-Clarke founded BLISS in April 2012, after her husband was permanently disabled due to a work-related injury.

Struggling with mobility, he had trouble finding work. Hipps-Clarke, who worked as a full-time special education teacher at Central High School at the time, realized better than anyone the struggle that people with disabilities go through to find work.

Hipps-Clarke said she also wanted to establish a place where her special education students could get necessary workforce training in a retail environment.

“We are a nonprofit that mission with the goal to provide an educational and productive employment situation by incorporating workplace and safety skills training, pre-employment

training, independent living skills, budgeting, nutrition, building self-esteem, responsibility, and prevention classes that focus on crime and drug awareness,” Hipps-Clarke said

Since BLISS opened, the store has given back thousands to the community from raising money to donate to Victoria Fire and Rescue to donating to the Kenbridge Salvation Army, Victoria Salvation Army, Lunenburg County Ministries and more.

“We don’t turn people away,” said Hipps-Clarke said in an earlier interview with The K-V Dispatch, “We’re willing to help anybody if we can. You know how the saying goes: ‘If you’re willing to help yourself, we want to help you.’ You have to meet us halfway; you have to make an effort. A lot of people really need a helping hand, but they just don’t know how to go about asking for it.”

Now it’s time for the community to help Bliss and give back.

“Every dollar helps and you never know what a dollar can do,” said Hipps-Clarke. “So, I am challenging everyone that I have taught or made a difference in your life to donate. You can drop your donations off at Bliss of Lunenburg or at Benchmark Community Bank Bliss of Lunenburg Building Fund.”

A GoFundMe page has also been established to help Bliss and can be found at