Contents: Old Dutch potato chips, a Kit Kat bar,
a Juice Box, a ballpoint pen, and a $5 Gift Certificate.
Volunteers add joy to our lives in Burnaby
The guilt is weighing me down. I started this Blog a few months ago, fully intending to promote life in Metrotown with a weekly photo-essay covering something worthy. I love living in this city, and I feel that I do contribute... yet I'd like to do more. But I have to work, and there are only so many spare hours in my day. Let me start to make amends.
Here is something rather splendid. In a previous post I mentioned that my gym is CLUB 16 in High Gate Village. It's a great place to work out and the staff are super friendly - even to a middle-aged geezer like me. A bonus is that directly below our gym is a "Signature" BC LIQUORSTORE. It stocks everything I might want, and much more. And if that isn't convenient enough, just a block away, on my route home, is the BURNABY HOSPICE SOCIETY THRIFT STORE. At least once a week, I try to pull over and go inside to browse the book department and the DVD shelves. Of course they don't always have something matching my interests, but when they do, Oh brother they're giving it away!
Did I mention that the staff are all volunteers, and they are super-friendly?
At noon today I stepped through the entrance and was greeted very warmly by a couple of volunteers. One lady thrust a hand-crafted gift bag into my hand, and invited me to sample the goodies they had prepared, even before I could get to the book stacks. She was manning a popcorn wagon, filling giveaway bags. Another lady was offering slices from a very large cake and filling Starbucks cups with hot coffee. I took a cup but skipped the sweet cake and buttery popcorn. I was still overheated from my workout at the gym.
To celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of their thrift store, located at 6843 Kingsway, the Hospice Society is running a surprise BLOWOUT sale. Now, many stores do hold "Thank You" events, but I think we can all agree that these spirited staffers are redefining the concept of "Customer Appreciation".
Most shoppers are probably looking for furniture, clothing, or housewares, but I'm a man with simpler interests. I don't need or want any of that. So what did I buy?
The best item is the 1992 Exhibit Catalog, VAN GOGH IN ENGLAND, from the Barbican Gallery, London.
All of this (five books and a DVD) for $3. dollars... and they gave me a plastic bag to carry it all away. I think they are probably the last shop on Metrotown Ridge that still gives out a plastic bag.
So what kind of people volunteer at the thrift shop? Students, seniors, and even folks with previous retail experience. The man who volunteers for organize and stock the book corner and music/movie section is very knowledgeable. He's had his own bookstore in Burnaby for years.
So when it comes time to donate unwanted items from your own home, (and I know it is so tempting to simply let the BIG BROTHERS truck come to your door), give a thought to dropping you clean unwanted items to the backdoor of the Burnaby Hospice Society Thrift Store. They're easy to find, quite near the Japanese Cultural Centre.
Don't judge people who shop at the Thrifts - else they judge you first.
Ronald J. Jack