SOS Thrift Shop staff are excited to reopen the doors to the community June 15. It will be a different shopping experience to ensure the safety of customers and staff. (Photo submitted)

SOS Thrift Shop re-opens in Parksville in June 15

Safety of staff, customers and donors a priority

SOS Thrift Shop is re-opening its 18,000-square-foot Parksville facility on June 15.

“It’s been challenging operating without revenue from the Thrift Shop,” said SOS executive director, Susanna Newton. “We’re excited to reopen, and although limiting shoppers and donations won’t result in the program funding we were used to, we’re happy families and individuals will once again have access to great bargains that support our community.”

Newton said the safety of staff, customers and donors are a priority, and visits to the Thrift Shop will look quite a bit different than they did before the COVID-19 crisis began.

The new hours will be Monday to Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., giving an extra hour for staff to restock and maintain enhanced cleaning procedures. Customer numbers will be limited, and if there is a lineup, shoppers will be asked to keep their visits to 20 minutes so others have an opportunity to shop. Directional signs will also be in place to ensure shoppers stay six feet apart from each other.

READ MORE: COVID-19: SOS suspends most programs, keeps some essential services going

As far as donated item go, SOS will not be able to accept furniture or large appliances due to a limited capacity to store donations, which are being isolated. Newton is expecting an influx of donations, so she said they are asking people to hold on to their items a little bit longer.

“We’ve been hearing that many residents were able to do some Spring cleaning, and we’re very grateful that people have been holding on to their donated items for us,” Newton said. “However, we have a limited capacity to store and isolate donations. If people would consider holding on to donations for another month or two, that would be very helpful to us.”

With revenue from the Thrift Shop anticipated to be down drastically this year as a result of the temporary closure and ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, SOS continues to look at other ways to make up the shortfall in program funding. The Grateful Hearts campaign has raised over $100,000, and donations continue to keep essential services running. In hopes of bringing back programming for children, youth and families, SOS is working on another initiative that aims to entice local families to take on some summer fundraising activities.

Summer Family Fun for SOS is the newest fundraising initiative, and includes a flyer filled with ideas for children young and old to help SOS bring back programs that residents have come to rely on.

“We’ve got some great ideas, including craft sales, lemonade stands, bike-a-thons and outdoor events for families to come together, work as a team, and host something for a good cause this summer,” said Newton.

For more information on this initiative, and details on visiting the Thrift Shop, visit the SOS website, or call SOS at 250-248-2093.

— NEWS staff, submitted

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