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VGH Thrift Store gives the gift of joy



Banfield resident Kenneth Kennedy grins ear to ear when Santa (Robert O’Neill, resident services manager) delivers his present, courtesy of the VGH Thrift Store.
Banfield resident Kenneth Kennedy grins ear to ear when Santa (Robert O’Neill, resident services manager) delivers his present, courtesy of the VGH Thrift Store.


VGH Thrift Store gives the gift of joy

Thanks to donations from the VGH Thrift Store, the Christmas season will be brighter for Banfield residents and VGH Health Centre patients.

Proceeds from the store’s sales funded donations totalling $2,900 to the residential care home and inpatient psychiatry units of the Health Centre on the VGH campus. And, thanks to many staff, these donations are transforming into presents for people who may not otherwise receive something special at this very special time of year.


Personalized presents for Banfield residents


Banfield team members (l to r): Michael Dagenais and Natalie Chapman, activity workers; Jason Thorne, occupational therapist; and Yee-Sin Law, activity worker, with thoughtfully chosen gifts for residents.
Banfield team members (l to r): Michael Dagenais and Natalie Chapman, activity workers; Jason Thorne, occupational therapist; and Yee-Sin Law, activity worker, with thoughtfully chosen gifts for residents.


The Thrift Store donated $2,500 towards the purchase of Christmas gifts for the 154 residents living at Banfield Pavilion. Staff purchased each resident’s gift, ensuring all residents receive something special and unique to what they may need or enjoy.

“Our residents appreciate the thought and effort put into their personalized gift,” says Jason Thorne, occupational therapist. “It makes them feel special and part of a community, and it brings back positive memories and lifts their spirits during the holiday season to know someone was thinking of them at this time of year, especially those without family or friends.”

Santa Claus — also known as Robert O’Neill, resident services manager — delivers the gifts at Banfield’s annual Christmas luncheon, a festive event where family members join in the fun and enjoy a turkey meal with all the fixings.


Gifts and care packages for Health Centre patients


Stephanie Mehlenbacher and Stephen Wong, VGH Health Centre occupational therapists, display the Christmas gifts and patient care packages funded by the VGH Thrift Store.
Stephanie Mehlenbacher and Stephen Wong, VGH Health Centre occupational therapists, display the Christmas gifts and patient care packages funded by the VGH Thrift Store.


The Thrift Store has also donated $400 towards the purchase of Christmas gifts and care packages for mental health patients at the VGH Health Centre.

For patients who may not have easy access to self-care item during their stay, the care packages containing items such as lip balm, gloves, toques, socks, deodorant, and hand cream are welcomed items.

“The items we purchase make each patient’s stay a little more comfortable, enjoyable and often provides necessities that patients otherwise couldn’t afford,” says Stephen Wong, occupational therapist. “The VGH Thrift Store’s donation has made it possible for us to provide gifts and brighten our patients’ day during a time of year that can be especially difficult for many.”


VGH Thrift Store appreciates your support

Store donations wouldn’t be possible without your support. The VGH Thrift Store welcomes your clothing, books and other household items for resale. Donation drop-offs are welcome during store business hours. The VGH Thrift Store has plenty of free parking in the back for easy drop-offs.


Store hours: Mon – Sat 10 to 5 pm; Sun 1 to 5 pm (please drop off donations during these hours)

Address: 2535 E. Hastings St.

Phone: 604.876.3731


GRAND Opening – Oct 17, 2015

The VGH Thrift Store is the newest addition to the Hastings-Sunrise Neighbourhood. Since our initial opening in early August this summer, we’ve had nothing but positive vibes from the local community and we couldn’t be happier.

Now it’s our turn. Join us on October 17th (Saturday!) as we host a GRAND opening filled with refreshments, sales, and gift certificate prizes. Check out details of the event on our Facebook page.

BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP. A great party can only be had with great guests. So invite your friends! Your family! Yours pets too! All are welcome.

Date: Saturday, October 17, 2015
Time: 11:00am – 1:00pm



Article in 24 hrs Newspaper: Rising Rent Forces Hospital’s Thrift Shop to Relocate

By Patrick Colvin



The non-profit VGH Thrift Shop Society had to relocate in August from Broadway near Main Street to Hastings Street and Nanaimo Street after their rent jumped from $6,000 a month to $11,000 in three years.

The Vancouver General Hospital thrift shop began in 2004 as an emergency clothing fund for patients. Since inception it has funded hospital renovations, provided new medical equipment, donated Christmas gifts to people in residential care, and has contributed more than $125,000 to the Vancouver General Hospital and the University of B.C. Hospital since 2010. They had been given a below market rate by their previous landlords, but when their building was sold, the rent skyrocketed to market value.

“It’s undoubtedly a wider problem,” said VGH Thrift Shop Society board president Brian Jones. “As a non-profit where our mandate, our reason for existence is to support the community through improvements to VGH. It’s just too much to bear, it just wasn’t sustainable financially moving forward so we had to move, and I’m sure there’s other businesses in a similar pickle.

“For us to be squeezed out in this manner does a huge disservice to the city as a whole, because the city is made up of different people from different countries, different walks of life, with different income levels, and it would be much poorer for not having that eclectic mix,” said Jones.

VGH Thrift Shop manager James Ferrier said the relocation has been positive, too.

“We really love our new store, we have as many items as we did in the old store, we did a big renovation and that’s kind of exciting for us,” said Ferrier. “We’ve kind of taken it up a notch, so it’s a very pleasant place, but kept our prices the same.”

The new shop is located at 2535 Hastings Street, and all net profits go to the Vancouver region in Vancouver Coastal Health.

Article is found on:

VGH Thrift Store volunteers make all the difference. You can too. VGH Thrift Store reopens August 4

On Tuesday, August 4, the VGH Thrift Store is back in business.

The store has relocated to a bright, newly renovated space with plenty of free parking in the back for shoppers, donation drop-offs and volunteers. The new location on E. Hastings Street is favourably situated in the East Village, one of Vancouver’s hottest up-and-coming neighbourhoods.

Your donations welcome

Getting ready for opening day: Donations are always welcome.

The VGH Thrift Store has free parking in the back, making donation drop-offs easier than ever. The store’s volunteers welcome your previously loved:

clothing, jewellery and accessories
books and multimedia
housewares (kitchenware, small appliances, vintage curios and artwork)
sports equipment
All net proceeds — that’s right, 100 per cent! — go to benefitting our patients, clients and residents within the Vancouver Community of Care.

Volunteers wanted

Many thanks to all the volunteers who sweated it out during the hottest week in July to pack and prepare for the move. The VGH Thrift Store wouldn’t be such a success without its volunteers.

The store is seeking more helping hands. If you or someone you know would like to volunteer with the VGH Thrift Store, contact:

Volunteer coordinator: Angela Kwan
Phone: 604.876.3731

New address, same great store

Opening day: Tuesday, August 4 – 10 am
Address: 2535 E. Hastings St., Vancouver
Phone: 604.876.3731

VGH Thrift Store volunteers rock!

Like a skipping stone bouncing across the water, every volunteer action makes a direct impact. From our VGH Thrift Store, the ripples spread to encircle and benefit patients, clients and residents across Vancouver.

“I’m inspired every day by the commitment our volunteers make to help raise funds for Vancouver hospitals and services,” says James Ferrier, VGH Thrift Store manager. “I’m so proud of how our volunteers make this store a cheery place, and for how much they accomplish to help make the store a financial success.”

Our volunteers do it all

No job is too big – or too messy – for VGH Thrift Store volunteers Varun (left) and Dong, who helped to paint the wall behind the cash desk.

“Volunteers are the store’s backbone,” says Angela Kwan, part-time volunteer coordinator. “We depend on their selfless spirit and endless energy to maintain daily operations and generate much-needed funds for medical equipment and other services.”

Ranging in age from 15 to 75, VGH Thrift Store volunteers come from all walks of life and almost half have volunteered for anywhere from two to ten years. The team does just about everything — from loading and unloading furniture and donations — sometimes in the cold and rain — to organizing sale displays, bagging purchases and vacuuming. Volunteers, says Angela, regularly “go above and beyond.”

Thanks to our volunteers, the VGH Thrift Store disburses at least $30,000 each year to fund equipment, projects, services and events at VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong and other Vancouver facilities. Our patients, clients and residents benefit in so many ways — and so do our volunteers.

Meet Phyllis and Danny

Phyllis Wilcox, a retiree and long-time VGH Thrift Store volunteer.

Phyllis Wilcox, a retired RBC employee, and Danny Ly, a university student, are just two of our 85 VGH Thrift Store volunteers. They share a passion for making a difference and generously shared their stories with us.

How many years have you volunteered with the VGH Thrift Store?

Phyllis: I’ve been volunteering for the hospital and the thrift shop for 11 years in May.

Danny: One year.

Why did you choose to volunteer with the VGH Thrift Store?

Danny: I stumbled upon the store one day after work when I was in need of a pair of tear-away pants from the ’90s [that’s another story!]. I found exactly what I was looking for at an extremely reasonable price. The atmosphere was pleasant, the selection abundant and the cashier helping me out gave me some of the friendliest customer service I’ve ever received. After I saw a posting online for volunteers, I knew I wanted to be part of the team and give back to the community.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at the VGH Thrift Store?

Phyllis: I worked in the same RBC branch for 15 years and the friendships I formed there are so important to me. I had no idea I would have the same relationships within a volunteer position. I have customers who come in on Thursdays just to say hi and, of course, they usually find something to go home with. I love the relationships I’ve formed with my Thursday co-workers, too — James, Maia, Andrea and Ben. I look forward to my shift every week.

Danny Ly, a university student and VGH Thrift Store volunteer, stumbled upon the store one day after work.

Danny: I enjoy the moments of nostalgia I get every time someone donates a toy from my childhood — and adding books to my collection. Finding pieces of literature I’ve been meaning to read always brings me joy, but at this rate I’m going to have to buy another bookshelf!

What is your most memorable day at the VGH Thrift Store?

Phyllis: I have many memories, but one highlight was when I had some jewelry checked — and discovered I had an $800 gold find! I was very excited, as was Maia, who works with me. We high-fived all afternoon!

Danny: The morning we painted the wall behind the cash desk. We wore garbage bags like raincoats to protect our clothes. When the job was done, and the stained bags disposed of, Varun [a volunteer] forgot all about the paint still being wet and leaned his back against the wall!

What would you like people to know about the VGH Thrift Store?

Phyllis: I have worked with a lot of people in my 10 years at the store, but this past year has been great.   James [store manager] has been a real ray of sunshine for the shop as all the customers will attest.

Danny: Even though each of us has our own personal hobbies and interests, we share a common bond in that we all choose to dedicate our time and efforts to the store.

Visit the VGH Thrift Store at 120 E. Broadway, Vancouver. Web:

Christmas sale!

Did you know that thrift stores stow away seasonal items as they are donated through the year, then bring them out for sale when the time is right? We have an impressive supply of Christmas decorations, tree ornaments,lights and MORE in the store now!

Save 50% on our Christmas stock!