The Burns Lake Thrift Shop has been closed due to Covid-19 as most of the volunteers at the shop are seniors. The shop is however set to open its doors to public on July 1, with some major changes and restrictions in place.
The Thirft Shop, that was part of a recycling program, would send in donations from people that were not suitable to go on the shelves, to the salvation army. The Burns Lake and District Healthcare auxiliary, the group that runs the shop, has however had to shut down the recycle program just before Covid-19 hit, due to the high costs associated with sending the donations to Prince George.
“This started to cause problems because if anything is not of quality to go on our shelves, we can’t just send it to recycle anymore and it goes straight to the dump,” said Sara Lynne, the president of the Burns Lake and District Healthcare Auxiliary. Lynne is now requesting the community on behalf of the shop that they bring in donations that are not damaged, the zippers are working, the clothes are not stained and are properly washed.”Obviously we will still be sorting through everything but basically what this means is we will be sending what cannot go on our shelves, straight to the dumpster.” Lynne also wants the community to bring in freshly laundered clothes as the shop doesn’t have a laundry facility and with covid, they plan to be extra cautious.
“Most people are really good with quality donations but occasionally we do get people who bring bags upon bags of dirty clothes and what would happen was that they would go to the recycling program. The recycle program doesn’t care whether clothes are laundered or not but now, with the recycling program gone, such clothes are just going to end up in the dump,” she added.
The Thrift Shop, which is completely volunteer-run, sees primarily seniors as volunteers. The shop will be reopening with extra precautions to ensure its members are safe. Some of the added restrictions that the shop would undertake are, to have hand sanitizers at the entrance, urge customers to wear masks, allow a maximum of six people at a time inside the store, encourage that one person per household enter the store at a time, close down the changing rooms and shut down the bathrooms for public use. Lynne is also asking parents to not bring children under the age of 10 years inside the store. “We love kids and we love seeing those smiling faces, however, kids like to touch everything and most of our volunteers are seniors, who are the most vulnerable population for contracting Covid-19,” said Lynne. She also pointed out that to further discourage families from bringing in kids, the shop has temporarily removed the toys section from the store.
The Thrift Shop, which was cash-only before the pandemic, will now be accepting debit or credit for payments. This change is also to ensure the safety of its senior volunteer base. “If anyone gets covid, we shut down and don’t open at all until the pandemic is over because if we lose even one member to Covid-19, that’s one too many,” said Lynne.
The Thrift Shop will start accepting donations from June 20. In case you want to volunteer with the shop, you can contact Sara Lynne on (250) 251-5375 or send out an email on – firstname.lastname@example.org.
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