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United Church thrift store volunteers in Bella Coola prepare for the season

The store will be open on Nov. 23 and Dec. 17
United Church Thrift Store elves have been having fun preparing to open for a few days leading up to Christmas. (Photo submitted)

Volunteers at a thrift store in the Bella Coola Valley enjoy helping the community.

Event though the United Church Thrift Shop is only open once or twice a month, when it opens items fly out of the store and donations are regularly going out to the community when it is not open.

Recently the shop was open Saturday, Nov. 19 and will be open again Wednesday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Dec. 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We brought out all our Christmasy things and they went out pretty fast last Saturday,” said Kathy Sinclair Nylen, who volunteers at the shop and does the finances. “The woman who ran the shop for years now works downtown.”

Open days depend on who they have volunteering and what the weather is like.

The shop is located next to Bella Coola Elementary School so often volunteers will take boots, socks and warm clothes to the school in case a student can use them.

Before Halloween they dropped off costumes at the school and at a daycare in Hagensborg.

“They know we are a resource,” Sinclair Nylen said. “We are kind of like a coffee shop, but don’t serve coffee. The children are so fun when they come in and see something they want.”

Often there will be two/for one sales or if she hears about someone in dire need she will reach out.

“There might be someone who has had a fire or a woman who has escaped a horrible relationship that we will tell them to come in and we will help.”

Describing donations as “wonderful,” she said the community seems to be very engaged with the thrift shop and that it is very needed in the valley.

There is another thrift store at the Pentecostal Church, a thrift store run by a local resident and a share shed at the recycling depot at Thorsen Creek, she added.

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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