Churches Thrift Shop. (File photo)

Salmon Arm thrift stores temporarily refuse donations to keep up with glut

Too much stuff for storage space, staff shortage, main reasons for sporadic closures

Too much stuff. That’s what a couple of local thrift stores have been coping with recently.

If you’ve noticed that donations have been refused at different times, that’s the reason.

At Church’s Thrift Shop last week, afternoon donations were turned away because of a developing backlog.

Outside supervisor Sanny Duque explains it’s a case of having some staff and volunteers away, combined with donations galore due to garage sales and long-weekend house cleaning.

“When it happens, we get some backlog; that’s why we have to limit incoming stuff.”

He says the amount of donations doesn’t seem to have grown over last year, but some new systems and policies at the store mean staff are able to better manage the incoming accumulation.

“When we get so overwhelmed, we don’t like donations to get rained on,” Duque says.

Read more: 2017 – Salmon Arm thrift store drowning in donations

Read more: 2017 – Thrift shop burdened

He notes the decision to refuse donations is based on day-by-day situations. Last week Churches was open most mornings, but as the day goes by, it depends if a backlog builds up.

At the Hudson Thrift Shoppe, Dawn Dunlop, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association, says there are ebbs and flows in terms of donations. Often spring and fall are times when people go through their belongings and decide to give some away.

She says the thrift shop limits donations when it doesn’t have enough staff or space to sort through them all.

Staff try not to close the donation bin for consecutive days and, if people want to ensure the bin is open, she suggests giving a call before coming in.

Read more: Summerland thrift store has received odd donations and generous tips

Read more: Sicamous United Church thrift store celebrates 25 years in business

Read more: Crews respond to smoke at Penticton thrift store

Dunlop says staff appreciate people donating, and also appreciate people donating goods that can be sold, not donating their garbage.

“Then we have to spend the time and energy sorting it, and then we have to pay to dump it. If it’s garbage for you, it’s garbage for everybody.”

At the Kindale Thrift Store, manager Shelley O’Dell says when too many donations come in, staff fit in as much as they possibly can.

“I would say we can take more than the other two stores because even if we’re full, we just pack it in.”

@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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