Starting immediately, the Georgette Thrift Shop is again accepting quality, clothing, jewelry, purses, shoes and decorative items for the home.
The Georgette Thrift Shop is a social enterprise owned and operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Vernon & District, with proceeds funding local mental health programs and services.
Due to COVID-19, the Georgette was closed from March 17 to June 10, losing significant revenue for CMHA programs.
Last year, the Georgette Shop sold nearly $165,000 of goods.
“Closing the store didn’t just have an impact on our clients, staff, and volunteers here. It also meant the loss of a significant funding stream for our programs,” said Julia Payson, Executive Director, Vernon CMHA.
Help and hope came in the form of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) accessed through Community Futures North Okanagan (CFNO). CMHA Vernon received a $40,000 interest-free repayable contribution to help alleviate financial hardship resulting from COVID-19.
“This loan gives us breathing room so we can work on a recovery plan to increase sales in the short term, and a create a strategy for the future in case further closures occur,” said Payson.
Donations can be brought in through the front door, or if there are many bags or boxes, volunteers will assist at the loading zone behind the store, between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Donations cannot be made outside of store hours.
Current COVID safety measures include a hand sanitizing station at the front entrance for customers, a maximum of 10 customers at a time in the store, and having staff and volunteers wear masks. Clothing and other donated items are cleaned before displaying in the store.
The Georgette Shop was established in 1966 in memory of Georgette Andres, a founder of the CMHA Vernon branch. The shop is run by volunteers six days a week, who donated more than 12,000 hours of their time to the store last year.
The Georgette Shop, located at 3100 – 28 Avenue, is open Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.