Volunteers Isabel Ruiz and Darlene Snowden at the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store are happy to have open doors again.

Port Hardy’s Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store is back in business

The volunteer-run store reopened last week

Port Hardy’s longest running thrift store is once again open to the public, with measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Shoppers, greeted with hand sanitizing spray at the door, are limited to six at a time. Donations are only being accepted on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at the back door, where they are sorted, sprayed and left to sit for two days before being placed on the floor.

About 12 active volunteers are back on schedule, running the store Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Shoppers can find clothes, organized by type, size and sometimes even colour. Shoes, a shelf of waffle presses and doughnut makers, a selection of ice skates, rows of books organized to librarian standards (they’re shelved by an actual retired librarian), and the rows of knickknacks thrifters know and love.

Upstairs is where the good stuff gets stored for their famous annual Christmas sale. Hundreds of plastic bins are filled with carefully sorted items — the best from the year’s donations — to be sold at the Thunderbird Mall leading up to Christmas. Based on the number of boxes they have ready to fill on the second floor, the Christmas sale is a major portion of the society’s fundraising.

All proceeds go to towards the hospital, ambulance and fire hall. Fittingly, the thrift store is located in the old fire hall on Main St. The hospital, fire hall and paramedics tell the Hospital Auxiliary Society what they need, and the society meets monthly to vote on what to buy.

Last year they contributed towards Port Hardy’s new fire truck, and over the years they’ve bought defibrillators, hospital beds and monitors. They’ve raised well over $1.5 million for Port Hardy.

The Harvest Food Bank thrift store on Market St. is also open to the public, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca

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