As locals gear up to celebrate another year, the Elk Valley Thrift Shop (EVTS) is preparing to celebrate its first successful year of business.
This Friday, December 12, the Elk Valley Thrift Shop is inviting locals to join them in commemorating a busy year filled with thrifty sales, gracious donations and the thrift shop volunteers proudly receiving the Sparwood Chamber of Commerce award for Best Non-Profit Organization.
In the past year, the thrift shop sold over $100,000 worth of merchandise donated by the Elk Valley community and donated nearly $60,000 to 46 groups and/or individuals throughout the valley, including the Lilac Terrace Group, who received $10,000 this June for their building expansion fund. In addition to these accomplishments, the EVTS opened up a Christmas store in the space adjacent to the original store, selling a wide array of holidays items. Throughout the year, volunteers also collected postage stamps, metal can tabs, eyeglasses, hearing aids and Canadian Tire money, which was then passed on to other charitable organizations in the Elk Valley.
“It is obvious that none of this would be possible without the ongoing and very generous support from the residents of the Elk Valley,” EVTS volunteer Katrin Taylor said in a press release. “The goals from our shop upon opening were numerous: to present the public with a clean, friendly, well organized shopping experience; to keep prices low while stocking only the best of the best; to maintain a ‘no dumping’ policy and reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible and finally to be fully transparent to the public in the form of a non-profit society run by volunteers.”
The thrift shop’s reduce, recycle and reuse policy is implemented by the volunteers, who work diligently to sort, clean, price and display all donated clothing and household items.
Unlike many other thrift shops, everything that is deemed inappropriate for their store front is repurposed, with all plastics, cardboard, paper, glass and electronics being properly recycled, and all towels, sheets and stained clothing being cut up and turned into ‘rag bags’ that are sold in the shop. Cottons and flannels are also donated to the Days for Girls program in Fernie, with the material being turned into sanitary napkins for less fortunate young women. Remaining donated clothing is shipped in a storage container to a textile recycler in Vancouver.
“To date, we have sent three containers full for a total weight of 26,828 lbs,” Taylor said. “That is roughly 13.5 tonnes of material that would have otherwise gone to our landfill.”
Taylor went on to say, “All of this would not be possible without the incredible volunteers who work tirelessly in our shop. Truly, they are the backbone of the EVTS Society and they deserve full recognition for their dedication to our cause. We are excited to have accomplished so much in such a short time and look forward to continue servicing our customers in the Elk Valley and giving back even more in 2015.”