written by Trish Weatherall
reprinted with permission from North Island Gazette
Port Alice Thrift Store Proceeds Help Community
Since August 2003, the Port Alice Thrift Store has been quietly helping the community by providing low-cost, quality merchandise and using the proceeds to finance many services, events and projects in the small community. “Everything we sell goes back into the community,” said Carol Prescott, one of 16 volunteers who keep the Thrift Store stocked, organized, clean, and a friendly place to visit. Over its twelve-year history, the volunteer-run shop has donated $81, 463, said Gail Neely, thrift store volunteer and bookkeeper. Each year, the funds help to sponsor the Sea View Elementary Jr. Secondary School breakfast club and earthquake relief food, the community breakfast with Santa, the ladies dessert night, the seniors Christmas dinner, and also awards bursaries to Port Alice students heading for post-secondary education. It regularly contributes to the Harvest Food Bank, the North Island Gazette Hamper Fund, and the Salvation Army, and specifically directs book sale proceeds to the SPCA. Some years the group has sponsored a specific project, like a new picnic table by the library or a blood pressure machine at the Port Alice Health Centre, and has provided emergency funds for local people who have to travel long distances for medical treatment. “This year we know what we can do with the [project] money,” said Neely. “We’ll be helping people and donating to Christmas events in the village.” The small store is packed with a diverse selection of quality clothing, accessories, housewares, books, toys, DVDs and CDs. “Gently used items are always welcome,” said Prescott. “Come by and check out the treasures we have here.” To shop or to donate clean items in good condition, visit the store at Sea View Activity Centre, 901 Marine Drive, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thrift Store volunteers also help to manage the new food bank beside the store.