A few nights ago, Barbara Worwood stood in tears at the entrance of the Port Coquitlam shop she manages.
Over the last few months, Eagle Ridge Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop has been transformed to better serve its community. The store re-opened Tuesday, essentially doubling in size.
“It’s wonderful,” said Worwood at the grand opening. “It looks so good.”
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Last November, the thrift shop took over its neighbour’s unit at their longtime home in the plaza at 2811 Shaughnessy Street and expansion preparations began. It was only closed for two days to facilitate reorganizing the expanded space before Tuesday’s re-opening.
The new store has plenty of space for artfully-created displays, a larger children’s section, ever-changing stock, and for customers to move around.
The thrift shop is just one arm of the Eagle Ridge Hospital Auxiliary. Formed in 1976, the auxiliary was a driving force behind the Eagle Ridge Hospital, which opened in 1984.The charity raises funds for the hospital and coordinates initiatives to improve the experience of staff and patients.
“People like to know that they’re supporting their hospital, that’s huge. Supporting health care right now,” she said. “People are excited to know that their money is going there,” she said. “It’s not going to the United States or into somebody’s pocket.”
Before opening, there was a lineup outside, said Worwood. Smiling faces both familiar and new greeted store volunteers — everyone who works at the thrift shop is a volunteer.
The thrift store is open seven days a week — Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. They also accept donations at their back door during business hours. “Just knock on the door and we’ll take your stuff,” said Worwood.
They’re always recruiting more volunteers. Application forms can be found online and at the store.