Sitting in St. Peter’s Anglican Church hall just after Sunday service has finished, volunteers Jan Feldinger, Edna-Mae Johnson, Alvina Charest, and Greta Speerbrecker reminisce about the time they spent volunteering at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church Goodwill Thrift Shoppe.
After 10 years of being open and giving to the community of Revelstoke, the thrift store is closing.
“There are very few people to [volunteer] any more. It’s time,” said Speerbrecker, who has volunteered with the store since it first opened. While the four ladies are not the only volunteers, many are getting on in age and there are no younger volunteers to step forward to take on the task.
“Many volunteers do it out of the goodness of their heart and for giving back to the community,” said Johnson. “Sometimes it’s just for conversation, I consider that part of our outreach to the community.”
In fact, chatting with the four women, it becomes apparent that it is the conversations with people coming into the thrift store that hold the most memories.
“Quite often people wouldn’t come down for a while, and then they’d come down just to see everybody,” said Feldinger.
“It’s really about the people and their stories,” said Johnson.
During its first days, the thrift store took up only a small part of the church basement.
“It grew over the years and took up the entire basement,” said Feldinger. In fact, when the thrift store started doing well, there were enough clothes to donate to other programs.
“We bagged the recycled clothing and we kept it in our garages until the Boys and Girls Club came once a month,” said Speerbrecker.
Some of the extra clothing was also donated to Ray Brosseuk to be sent to Africa, and to a man from Cuba who would take donations of clothing. Over the years, Johnson said that the thrift store donated 1/3 of it’s sales to help out various programs, many of them local.
Donations have been made to: the Revelstoke Secondary School Breakfast Program, Revelstoke Women’s Shelter, Community Connections Vitamin Program, Community Connections Healthy Snacks for Kids, Trees for Tots, Begbie View Elementary School Breakfast Program, Camp Owaissi, travel expenses for cancer patients, and Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.
St. Peter’s Anglican Goodwill Thrift Shoppe’s last day of operation will be Tuesday, June 30 from 1-4 p.m. The public are invited to join for refreshments.