It had been a busy hub of Ladner Village until COVID-19.
The Delta Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store has been closed for months due to the pandemic and has remained that way even as retailers began opening their doors in recent weeks.
But that’s about to change for the Delta Street outlet as the popular thrift store is to finally reopen next week.
Due to concerns about the age and vulnerability of the volunteers at the store, an abundance of caution is being taken as a plan was formulated on a reopening, said auxiliary acting president Cathy Bayley.
The store is scheduled to open next Tuesday, July 14 with Plexiglass in place, masks and other safety procedures now part of the business for the foreseeable future.
“Because of the age of our volunteers, some of them, understandably, chose just to wait a bit before coming back. So we don’t have right now quite as many volunteers as we have had in the past. We’re finding ways around the problem,” explained Bayley.
According to DHA, in normal months around 220 volunteers provide over 5,000 hours of work. Many of the workers are senior citizens, so protecting their health as well as customers is a priority.
Bayley noted people have been generally good not trying to drop off items, especially unwanted junk, in front of the store.
“The bins have been taken away because our donations are going to have to be quite different. People would just drive up hand the fellows inside their bags or boxes of donations, but now we’re going to be setting up tables outside and we’ll have to limit the number of donations and we’re going to have volunteers who are going to help sort through things we think we can sell. We’re also going to be storing the donations for 72 hours before we sort them,” said Bayley.
The closure has been an opportunity to do some painting and give the place a bit of an interior facelift, she added.
While the auxiliary’s gift store and coffee shop inside Delta Hospital remain closed for now, it’s the loss of income from the thrift store for an extended period this year which could potentially impact how much new equipment the society will be able to purchase and donate to the hospital next year.
Noting they never commit to purchasing items for the hospital, which submits a wish list, until the society knows it already has the money, Bayley noted they have the funds to be able to follow through on their purchase commitments for the hospital this year.
Bayley noted more information about the thrift store will be available on the Delta Auxiliary Society Facebook page.