Skip to content

Local youths supporting and inspiring their community at the Ladner thrift shops

What two university students are doing at Delta Hospital Auxiliary’s thrift shop
Thrift shop youth volunteers
Being able to give back to their community is just one of the reasons that Tsawwassen’s Taylor Da Silva and Anson Mo began volunteering with Ladner’s thrift shops during the pandemic.

Being able to give back to their community is just one of the reasons that Tsawwassen’s Taylor Da Silva and Anson Mo began volunteering with Delta Hospital Auxiliary thrift shops during the pandemic.

In light of the obstacles that the Ladner thrift shops have been forced to hurdle over the past two years, including a large drop in older volunteer members and a devastating fire, Da Silva’s and Mo’s support came at just the right time.

Though both are students at the University of British Columbia, the pair volunteer their free time on Saturdays to – among many things – sort and display donations, greet customers and ensure COVID-19 protocols are followed, all while helping keep the stores tidy.

“I’ve always wanted to help around on a regular basis ... I didn’t do much of that in high school, and now that I’ve been in university, I’m volunteering because I’m growing up,” says Mo with a chuckle.

Among the social media work they also do for the Delta Hospital Auxiliary Society’s accounts, Mo and Da Silva teamed up this past summer to create a “Healthy Environment = Healthy Community video series.

The filmed tutorials focused on reusing and repurposing no-longer-usable donations that had been dropped off at the thrift stores.

Da Silva demonstrated how to make a snazzy pair of denim cut-off shorts and a denim patchwork tote bag from worn out pairs of jeans, and Mo showed the society’s followers how to make a do-it-yourself bird feeder from unsellable plastics.

The project’s goal was to inspire the community to reduce, reuse and recycle items that they may otherwise throw out.

“One of the reasons why I was interested in volunteering at the thrift shop, specifically, is I’m also interested in environmental sustainability, and I wanted to contribute to this by working at the thrift shop – supporting second-hand,” says Da Silva.

Volunteering has given her a very real way to help out her community, but it’s also given her a way to be creative about her passion for sustainability. And, being the first one to come across a cool find among donations is also a perk, she says.

Though she’s on a volunteering break currently because of school, she will be returning in the summer months to potentially take on a similar project with the society’s communications team again.

And as for Mo, he emphasizes that his love for meeting and talking with so many people – that he otherwise wouldn’t have met – is one of the things he enjoys most about the role. 

“I’ve met many people at the store, and most of them, they come from different walks of life and hold viewpoints that challenge and are different from mine, so, it’s interesting and it’s very humbling to know that there’s so much to learn about other people out there,” he says.

To stay up to date with the Delta Hospital Auxiliary Society, follow them on Facebook or Instagram at @deltahospitalauxiliary.