Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation executive director Kate McBrearty (right) accepts $40,000 from the Armstrong Spallumcheen Healthcare Auxiliary that operates the immensely popular Bargain Bin thrift store in Armstrong. Making the presentation on behalf of the auxiliary are (from left): Carolyn Farris, Pam Krazanowski, Kathy King, Brenda Hobbs, Sandra Borden (VJH Foundation Board Member, Armstrong Representative), Alex Edlund, Audrey Marinello, Gladys Lehoux, Marge Burtch (Bargain Bin coordinator), Maureen Karran. (VJHF photo)

Armstrong thrift store donates plenty to health care

Bargain Bin, run by Armstrong Spallumcheen Healthcare Auxiliary, donates $40,000 to VJH Foundation

Solely operated by more than 65 dedicated volunteers, the Armstrong Spallumcheen Healthcare Auxiliary (ASHA) is a fixture in its vibrant community.

The auxiliary, which originated more than 85 years ago, runs the extremely popular Bargain Bin thrift store in downtown Armstrong. Locals from around the valley make special trips to donate, shop and volunteer at the store which is open from Tuesday through Saturday each week.

With a mandate to enhance the quality of healthcare in the North Okanagan, this energetic team of volunteers has been donating to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation Light a Bulb campaign since 1996. And this year is no different, as they presented the foundation with a very significant $40,000 donation this last week.

READ MORE: Drug stores team up for Vernon hospital foundation

“People come from all over the Okanagan, partly because they know that we’re all volunteers”, says Marge Burtch, Bargain Bin coordinator. “We get incredible support from our communities with armfuls of donations so we’re always busy behind the scenes and on the sales floor. The heartfelt thank-yous that we get, particularly from individuals who are impacted…well that’s what warms our hearts and keeps us going.”

Foundation executive director Kate McBrearty said the Bargain Bin’s work is a “great example of how small acts can create a huge impact, with one household donation at a time or one small purchase at a time.”

READ MORE: Foundation sticks with familiar face at Vernon hospital

“This amazing group of volunteers continues to improve our community for the better,” said McBrearty. “With this generous donation, our annual Light a Bulb campaign has reached over $150,000, taking us past the half-way mark to our goal of $275,000. We are so grateful to the ASHA who are such strong supporters of the foundation.”

To help the Vernon Jubilee Hospital reach this year’s goal of raising $275,000 you can make a secure donation online at, mail it to VJH Foundation, 2101–32nd Street, Vernon BC V1T 5L2 or phone it in at 250-558-1362.

Each$35 tax deductible gift will light one bulb on the tree of lights, while $500 will light an entire string.


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