Five people were waiting outside the Sequim-Dungeness Hospital Guild Thrift Shop Monday morning, Jan. 5, after a two-week holiday closure.
A line of people outside the store a few minutes before the doors open at 10 a.m. isn't unusual these days, according to volunteer Connie Hixson.
"October was our best month ever," Hixson said. "People are really watching their pennies but still need to get out and shop. There's a little bit of everything you need here."
Helen Whitney, another volunteer, agreed with Hixson, attributing the increase in business to a slow economy. "We usually get slow in December but not this year," she said. "We have regulars who come in to check out the new stuff and then others who just stop by to socialize. Some days, we're so busy that we can't handle it."
To deal with the influx of customers, the thrift shop actively is seeking more volunteers to add to its 90-something staff base.
"It's a very enjoyable experience," Whitney said, who has been volunteering at the thrift shop for 15 years. She spends five three-hour shifts per month operating the cash register and answering questions for shoppers. "We always need volunteers."
Volunteers are required to spend a minimum of six hours per month on duty. That's either one six-hour day or two-three hour shifts. Positions are available cashiering, sorting, labeling, pricing, cleaning and helping customers find their way around the store.
New volunteer Sue Staples said she joined the crew to "get out and meet new people. I think this is a very good cause," Staples said. "Everybody has been really gracious so far."
The thrift shop accepts donated and consigned articles of clothing, furniture, jewelry, household items and tools for resale. All items must be clean and salable.
Proceeds benefit Fire District No. 3, Olympic Memorial Hospital, community scholarships and projects. Since its inception in 1970, the guild has donated more than $1 million to the community, which has helped purchase things such as five aid cars for the fire department and electronic monitoring equipment for cardiac rehabilitation at the hospital.
"This being a retirement community, I think we get nicer things than other shops from people who are simply downsizing," Whitney said. "Some of our things have the original tags on them and boxes in the back."
"There are a lot of new items that would make nice gifts," she suggested.
Be a thrifty spender and benefit the
The Sequim-Dungeness Hospital Guild Thrift Shop, located at 204 W. Bell St., is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, except for holidays. The store also is open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. the first Saturday of each month, when donated items are half-price. Donations are accepted during business hours; consignment items are accepted between 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Thursday by appointment. Proceeds benefit Fire District No. 3, Olympic Medical Hospital, community scholarships and projects. For more information, call 683-7044.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
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