Re: What's the need for shop to go upscale?, letter to the editor, July 18
It is curious to me that some people in South Delta have made comments about recent changes at Hospice Cottage Charity Shoppe. It astounds me that people feel entitled to comment about how the business should be run.
It would be ridiculous to go into a local retailer and start complaining to them about prices. But for some reason, it seems completely acceptable for customers to do so at a thrift store.
The name change was mainly to bring awareness to the cause, highlighting that it is, in fact, a charity that is using the revenue to support hundreds of families a year in end of life care. Some items generously donated by the community are of very high quality and value. Many people choose Hospice Cottage to donate their precious things to because they believe in the cause.
It would be a disservice to those donating, as well as to Delta Hospice's services, to price valuable items at a mere fraction of their worth, just because it is expected at a thrift store. Higher priced items at the store reflect their much higher value. Assuming everything should be within a certain minimal price range at a thrift store is exactly the reason for the recent name change.
It is well known that people come from across the Lower Mainland to shop at the Cottage. Among the regular patrons are consignment store owners, furniture up-cyclers and flea market sellers who purchase items to re-sell. The prices have been extremely low and everyone has benefited greatly from the store basically giving things away. Volunteers work hard to
price as consistently and fairly as possible, and items continue to remain well below their retail value. Complaints are more about change than unfair pricing. People are used to getting incredible deals, and are disappointed that some things are actually priced fairly now.
As a volunteer, I see the countless mattresses, soiled and stained couches, and other garbage left for disposal at the store. Despite the signs, it has become a free garbage dump for some people. Dumping fees are not free for the non-profit - they pay the same as everyone else. Higher disposal fees only drive the need to raise prices.
Most despicable was the personal attack on Nancy Macey, citing egotism and a personal raise for the reason for the changes. You couldn't be further from the truth.
She independently began Delta Hospice over 20 years ago and worked without pay for many years.
Ask anyone who knows her - the dedication, passion and commitment to hospice she displays is beyond amazing. As an executive director of the organization, she spends countless hours working alongside the volunteers. She knows that every penny earned at the store goes directly to caring for people that are dying, as well as supporting their families.
Over 180 volunteers operate the store and several part-time employees support the volunteer's work. I find it humourous that people question the financial decisions of someone who has also created a financially self-sustaining non-profit organization, including developing and running Hospice Cottage, overseeing hundreds of volunteers and building an $8.5 million medical facility and support centre.
Delta Hospice does not depend on government contributions to operate its organization. It is unique in that it raises 90 per cent of its funding to operate the Centre for Supportive Care so that anyone can access services and nobody has to pay a fee for service.
As well, Delta Hospice funds all capital, equipment and maintenance expenses at the Hospice Residence. (Fraser Health provides funding for care for the 10 beds, which are each approximately $700 cheaper per day than their equivalent palliative care bed in a hospital.)
I am positive those who have complained about prices at Hospice Cottage have not experienced any of the services that Delta Hospice provides. Your greatest hope should be that if you, or someone you know, ends up suffering from a life-threatening illness, you would be fortunate to receive the support from Delta Hospice, brought to you mainly by the Hospice Cottage Charity Shoppe.