The Burns Lake and District Healthcare Auxiliary – the group that runs the Burns Lake Thrift Shop – spent months searching for a bigger location for its thrift shop in Burns Lake.
However, after months of searching and failed attempts, they decided that the best option would be to simply expand the existing building on Fourth Avenue.
Starting next week, approximately 1120 square feet will be added to the back of the existing building. A basement will also be added underneath the new area, but it will be used for storage only.
According to Jeanie Reimer, president of the Burns Lake and District Healthcare Auxiliary, donations have progressively increased over the past five years and there is currently no room to store all the items received.
Since there’s not enough space to store all donations, many items end up being shipped to organizations such as the Salvation Army while other items are recycled.
“We all work weekends because we get so many items in,” said Reimer. “Nothing is going to waste; it’s all being re-used somewhere.”
In fact, the health care auxiliary is asking residents to postpone their item donations until the renovation is completed. While the renovation is taking place, the thrift shop will temporarily move to the Lakeview Mall. The Fourth Avenue location is expected to reopen in February 2017. A local company – Big Dog Construction – was hired to do the renovation.
In order to pay for the $250,000 renovation, Reimer said the health care auxiliary will be holding fundraisers and applying for grants. The Village of Burns Lake is currently helping with grant applications.
In addition, Reimer said the health care auxiliary has some money set aside. The group was able to generate $74,000 from donations in 2015. They distributed approximately $56,000 back to the community last year, providing medical equipment to the Lakes District Hospital and Health Centre and furniture to The Pines. The group also provided a $2000 bursary to high-school students, free merchandise to house fire victims and free clothing to the Elizabeth Fry Society.
Although the health care auxiliary has approximately 20 members and 40 volunteers, their average age is 75.
“We do not have the manpower; our people are getting older and we need younger volunteers,” said Reimer.
The health care auxiliary is also looking for money donations to help pay for the renovation.
For more information on how to volunteer or how to make a donation, contact Jeanie Reimer at 250-692-3616.