The thrift store of the Rossland Health Care Auxiliary is a popular spot. With folks waiting in line for the shop to open each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to search out what new gems have made their way onto shelves, the store is in high demand by local and not-so-local shoppers.

“We have people coming from away – along with all of our locals – from Nelson, Trail Castlegar,” says Marie Skinner, Society President. “When I came through the store today, there were about 50 shoppers. Residents tell us how much they appreciate having a place they can afford to shop.”

But the store is much more than a place to find bargains or vintage items. It is a major annual contributor to the health foundation of the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, plus to community organizations like the Rossland Search and Rescue, Rossland and Trail food banks and Trail hospice.

“We gave away around $170,000 last year,” says Skinner. “We have 50 active volunteers that look after pretty much everything we have to do. We are a big family. And we love what we do.”

Skinner lists many joys when it comes to the store, but three stand out for her: the support the store provides to the community, the camaraderie of working as a group, and how hard they work to keep as many items as possible out of the landfill.

“We ship clothing to Positive Apparel in Nelson, which they process into material for shipping overseas. We also cut rags and sell those to local businesses.”

In ways like these, the Society is making a real difference – one reason the Trust supports it and so many other non-profits across the Basin. This year, the Trust helped fund a mechanical room with a new heating and air conditioning system.

Now heading into its 81st year, the store shows no signs of slowing down – much of it thanks to its many volunteers. Skinner says, “It’s amazing what people can achieve when they put their heart and soul into something they believe in.” If you want to learn more about what the Rossland Health Care Auxiliary thrift store does, visit their facebook page.

Photos: Dogwood Photography – Rachel Brayshaw