The Kimberley Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop is currently in search of volunteers after a surge of donations has them swamped with sorting.
Ann McBain, who is the Head Coordinator for the Kimberley Thrift Shop and sits on the Kimberley Health Care Auxiliary Board of Directors, says that they are looking for as many volunteers as possible.
“The more the merrier,” she said, pointing at a pile of donated items stacked far above her head. “Whether they can work for three hours a month, or three hours a week, we need more people to help sort the donations.”
The Kimberley and Marysville thrift shops provide all new volunteers with the training they need. Sorters go through donated bags, boxes and tubs of items such as clothing, kitchen dishes, utensils, small appliances, sporting goods, lamps and more. Sorters determine what is feasible to re-sell (or clean items as needed), price items and put them out in the store for sale.
All of the proceeds from the thrift shop sales go directly to health care initiatives in the Kootenays.
In 2017, the auxiliary donated $100,000 towards the MRI machine at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.
“Every volunteer fills an important role,” said McBain. “There are [more than] 110 volunteer members for our three shops, however some volunteers have physical limitations preventing their ability to totally fit their roles. We strive to have two volunteers for each position on each shift.”
Both thrift shops operate five days a week from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.. Shifts are three hours long, either from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. or 1p.m. until 4p.m.. Marysville has recently added a Monday shift, 1p.m. to 3p.m..
McBain says that if someone can’t commit to those hours, they have evening shifts available as well.
“We can have people sorting when the store isn’t open, so those working during our non-operating hours can still volunteer,” she said.
The thrift shop would also like to remind people dropping off donations to only bring in usable items that are clean and in good working order.
“Some of what gets donated ends up going to the Salvation Army. If items are dirty or smelly, they are sent to the Salvation Army, who get credit for linen poundage” McBain explained. “We would rather process clean clothes/items. It also makes our job easier when things are clean. Sometimes a kitchen appliance will be donated but it doesn’t work so we have to throw it in the garbage, that kind of thing.”
She says that donations should not be left outside of the door when the thrift store is closed.
“People go through them and a mess is sometimes created up and down the sidewalk,” McBain said.
“We thank the community for their generosity, enabling us to support the health initiatives in our community,” said McBain. “We would also like to thank our current volunteers for all of their hard work.”
Anyone who wishes to volunteer or find out more information can contact Ann McBain at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the thrift shop at 250-427-4020.