What difference can a used blouse or that old blender make?
When the items go to the Second Story Treasures thrift shop in Walnut Grove, they can make all the difference to a family with a loved one facing imminent death or those grieving loved ones.
In fact the store set up to fundraise for the Langley Hospice Society has seen its best year (fiscal 2015/16) in the past three years.
“We finished the 2015/16 year with a 7.3 per cent increase in overall sales,” said store manager Deborah Campbell.
That’s despite some challenges.
“Always a highlight for customers, our Annual Fall Flip in August was a tremendous success due to the hard work of store staff and volunteers, with a two-day sales total of $5,737 – and that’s with a half-day closure due to a power failure in the area,” Campbell said.
Another challenge – shoplifting. Yes, even charities face it.
The store was seeing increased sales in all departments, except for clothing.
“After noticing a significant decline in our clothing sales – which stood out because we were experiencing increases in many other areas – we began to suspect that shoplifting was taking a toll,” she said.
The store made changes and has seen that problem stop.
The society has a small number of paid staff, relying on a large contingent of volunteers.
“I am so impressed by the pride and dedication we see displayed day in and day out by our volunteers and our staff team,” Campbell said.
In 2015/2016 Second Story Treasures volunteers put in 17,616 hours with hospice volunteers putting in a total of more than 33,000 hours in the various programs and services.
A decade ago the society, in conjuction with the health care community, opened the hospice residence at Langley Memorial Hospital. Hospice society has volunteers there seven days a week, 12 hours a day to help residents and families.
The society also offers adults, child and youth breavement programs, education, and support. Learn more at langleyhospice.com.