A recent load of unwanted items outside Penny Savers Thrift Shop.

Delta store volunteers tired of being dumped on

Penny Savers Thrift Store wants to put a stop to loads of unsalable items dropped off after hours.

Wet mattresses, derelict sofas, worn chairs, scrap wood and cardboard boxes – just the latest round of garbage dumped at the back of a North Delta thrift store.

“I really have had it with these people,” says a frustrated Shirley Evans, store manager of Penny Savers Thrift Shop.

The store, run volunteers on behalf of the Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) Auxiliary, has seen unsalable items dumped at the doorstep for years, but the heaps are getting larger and coming more often.

“It’s time to get the word out and stop all this,” says Evans, explaining the difficulty that the store’s volunteers have in trying to dispose of the often heavy and soiled items left on the doorstep in the overnight hours.

Photo: Shirley Evans

“They just don’t have the energy for all this.”

Evans says she’s lucky she and her husband Steve have a pick-up truck to help them remove the heavier items, but Penny Savers still has to cover the costs at recycling depots and the landfill.

The next step, she admits, is to get surveillance cameras to catch people in the act – regardless of the cost.

While the store does take in some large or unique items, there’s no room for most pieces of furniture and no way for staff to test electronic items, including such things as TVs and DVD players.

The best thing for legitimate donors to do is come in during store hours and ask if their items can be taken in to be re-sold, as is the store’s fundraising mandate.

Penny Savers is on task to raise $150,000 for an adolescent drug treatment centre at SMH.

Despite the dumpings, business at the store is good, but there’s the ongoing need for volunteers.

Most of the volunteers are in their 60s to 90s – for whom Evans is grateful.

She also thanks the store’s regular donors of sellable goods.

“They enable us to raise money for the hospital.”

Penny Savers Thrift Shop is located at 11961 82 Ave. Store hours are Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The phone number is 604-501-2111. Volunteers are sought for a minimum commitment of four hours per week. The process of hiring takes two to three weeks and goes through SMH’s Volunteer Resources. For more information or to apply for a volunteer position, visit the store, call 604-588-3381 or email volunteer.smh@fraserhealth.ca

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