Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary president Diana Lenihan. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop accepting donations again, starting Friday

Actual store being renovated during the pandemic and not likely to reopen for at least a month

The famous Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop will start taking donations again on Friday.

Donations will be accepted Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16 at the gates from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day and then Mondays through Saturdays from 9 to 1 until the shop opens again.

It bears repeating this does not mean the store is open for shopping again, just for taking donations.

“We’ve had numerous calls on that one already,” conceded Auxiliary president Diana Lenihan. “You cannot say it enough.”

It’s safety first with donations and the organization is now in a position to do that.

“We hope all our donors know how valued they are to us, and they continue to show support and understanding,” noted Lenihan. “We will try our darnedest to process the items as quickly and painlessly as we can. We will continue to adjust, to keep the path an easy one to walk.”

To reduce a traffic snarl, drivers are being asked to approach the store going west on Oak Street, and then turning right onto Maple Street so vehicles are heading toward Kin Beach, making it safer and simplifying the unloading of the donations.

Lenihan added it was most devastating when the decision was made to close the Thrift Shop doors on March 16.

Related: One of the Island’s most popular thrift shops also shuts its doors due to COVID-19

“We seized the opportunity to go forward with renovations to our building while we would be shut down,” she pointed out. “The painting and flooring was taking us into the first part of June, if all goes smoothly.”

Lenihan felt it was time to be pro-active, with members needing to become engaged again while the line-ups to the landfill were receiving the Auxiliary’s usual donations.

“Not good for Mother Earth or us,” she stated. “Plus, we knew we needed to offset the initial influx of donations, as not to overwhelm our membership upon return.”

Thus, thinking outside the box, the answer became a container.

Lenihan contacted BigSteelBox that generously offered a container at half price.

With safety of volunteers, customers and donors in mind, the membership was contacted for assistance and 15 agreed to do the task within the first 30 minutes after an email was sent out.

“The response told a story, members of our auxiliary are truly a group of individuals that pull together for the common cause, the quest to meet the request of financial support from the health care sector,” Lenihan noted.

Donors are asked to ensure they provide quality and gently used items because getting rid of garbage costs the Auxiliary $1,000 a month that takes away from offering items in the store at such low prices. Items are also to be put in untied bags or unsealed boxes.

Donations will be screened and rejected items returned.

Like every other organization, the Auxiliary is just not going to be able to donate the same amount to health care because of the pandemic.

“We’ll be scrambling for next year,” conceded Lenihan. “The donations are just not going to be the same – a big financial strain on the system.”

As for the reopening of the shop, Lenihan expects that won’t happen until at least mid-June, depending on provincial health orders at that time.

CoronavirusHealthcarevolunteers

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man found dead in his tent at Chemainus homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Simpson staying sharp for the baseball call

Pirates’ Chemainus player scraps initial plans for Houghton College in New York

CBIA ad campaign a business booster

Great to learn more about the people serving the community

Chemainus Inn experiences a direct hit from Theatre shutdown

Occupancy down 80 per cent in large part to cancelled bookings

3 people found violating court imposed curfews in Cowichan

People are placed on curfews for a variety of public safety reasons.

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

Most Read