It has a new attitude and new name.
The Delta Hospice Society's former thrift store on 56th will no longer be called a thrift shop, but the Hospice Cottage Charity Shoppe. It's to reflect the higher quality of donations coming to the retail store run by volunteers.
"We've got quite a cultural change here in terms of what's happening," said society executive director Nancy Macey.
"There's this whole connotation of getting away from a thrift store. First of all, a lot of people didn't seem to know we were a charity. And secondly, we have such a wide range of things we are selling now, like gold and silver and leather, for example," she said.
Macey noted they want to get the word out the store deals with "new and gently used things."
A big problem for the busy Tsawwassen retail outlet continues to be is people leaving unusable items, such as broken TVs and refrigerators, that have to be hauled away as trash.
Starting last year, old mattresses and box springs became subject to a $20 disposal fee at the Vancouver Landfill, another added cost for the store operator already spending thousands hauling away junk.
Macey noted that the bill to haul off garbage was over $400 last week alone. She's hoping the word goes out that the store has become much more "high-end" and "boutique" and doesn't want junk.
"I don't know if we'll ever get away from people dumping their old mattresses and stuff here, but we want people to know we just don't service on garage sales thing," Macey said.
Communications coordinator Dalyce Wickett said the society is grateful for the donations to the store. However, people have to understand the outlet can't accept large furniture items, old televisions or computers, beds and similar items, often left at the store by people thinking the store would have some use for them or looking for a convenient dumping place.
She added the society also wants to spread the word that the store, which also has many new items donated by retailers, has quality merchandise for everyone so it shouldn't be seen as a thrift shop serving the poor.
The money raised by the store, which was established in 1998, goes to the Delta Hospice Society's care centre and the resident care building that opened last year in Ladner. It took years of dedication and hard work by Macey and others with the organization to finally see their dream of a new and enhanced care model to assist those facing life-threatening illnesses and their families come to fruition.
An $8.5 million project, the Harold & Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care and the adjacent Irene Thomas Hospice, located at 4631 Clarence Taylor Cres., were built entirely thanks to the donations. The Fraser Health Authority provided the land and operating dollars are provided for the 10-bed palliative care unit, but it's still up to the society to fund the operations of supportive care centre, which provides information, counseling and acts as an all-around resource base for families.
In addition to its support services, the supportive care also started an early Alzheimer's group, a caregiver's group, a bereavement walking group and a relaxation group.
The support from the community for the new facilities has resulted in a noticeable increase in the quality of the donated items to the store, Macey said.
Macey noted the society still has around $400,000 to go to complete the fundraising for the project. Once the fundraising is done, all the revenues from the 56th Street store can go straight into new programming at the facilities. The Hospice Cottage Charity Shoppe is located at 1521-56th St. For more information including its hours of operation or volunteering, call 6049434348.
The society asks that donations be dropped off during store hours at the rear of the store.
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