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Castlegar’s St. David’s Thrift Shop celebrates its 51st year

The shop is run and managed by the Anglican and United Churches and community volunteers
St. David’s Thrift Store president Michelle Warren at the 51st anniversary celebration. Photo: Wayne Groutage

Submitted by St. David’s Thrift Shop

This year the St. David’s Thrift Shop will be celebrating its 51st year of operation.

Located under HUB International Insurance and Oglow’s Paint & Wallcoverings, the shop is run and managed by the Anglican and United Churches, with volunteers from both churches as well as the general community.

Oglow’s has been very kind and rented this space to us for many years at a reduced rate so that we can continue to serve and give back to the community.

Our shop is a favourite within the area and many people come from outside our boundaries to enjoy the great selection and excellent pricing on our items. All of the donations are from the community and by making sure that most of the items find a new home we are doing our best to recycle and reuse, therefore reducing the amount of trash going to the landfill. It’s a win-win for all.

We are fortunate that if some donations are not quite up to our standards, we’re able to send them to Nelson to Positive Apparel. Once there, the items are either improved upon for sale or the materials from the objects are sent to Vancouver where they are processed into fabric fibres for other uses.

Our strength of the longevity of this shop is based upon the long time, dedicated work of many volunteers. Over the 50+ years we’ve seen many workers commit to helping out over a 15 - 20 year span. That’s amazing!

People enjoy seeing the cycle of items coming and going and then coming back again! They love helping people that depend upon finding reasonably priced items to make their lives better. Some of our regular customers come every week and often we can help them connect with just the item they’re looking for.

All through the pandemic we did our best to operate under the appropriate restrictions so that those members of our community that were in need were still able to come into our welcoming environment and possibly find what they were looking for.

Our shop is loved because it’s neat, tidy, well organized, with well-priced items that demonstrate our desire to see the articles getting utilized — again and again.

Customers love our volunteers. Occasionally the staff will alert a regular so that they will know if an item they’ve been searching for has shown up. It’s that kind of caring that demonstrates why the Thrift Shop continues to be a popular spot to stop and check out what’s come in.

The monies that are raised are equally divided (after overhead expenses are paid) between Castlegar United Church and St. David’s Anglican Church. Then each church decides how they wish to best use this money to help the churches and the community, by sponsoring local programs. Supported programs include the Community Harvest Food Bank, Red Cross, and Community Services. Churches also make their space available for community groups to use at reduced rental rates.

Our shop is there in time of need should a family lose their home to fire or experience other forms of loss. They are able to come in and get the things that they need to live comfortably at no charge. Also newcomers such as refugees are given the opportunity to come to the shop and get what they need.

A big thank you goes out to all of our customers and volunteers and to the community. You have made these past 50 years since 1971 such a success.

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St. David’s Thrift Store 51st anniversary celebration. Photo: Wayne Groutage