Canadian Mental Health Association Vernon branch executive director Julia Payson (from left), thrift store coordinator Art Harrigan and volunteer, Jenna Horsting inside the CMHA’s Georgette Thrift Shop, which was able to reopen thanks to special relief funding from Community Futures North Okanagan. (photo submitted)

Vernon thrift shop once again accepting donations

Georgette Thrift Shop revenue funds Vernon Canadian Mental Health Association programming

Donations of quality clothes, jewelry, shoes, bangs and home decor are once again being accepted at a local thrift shop in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

The Georgette Thrift Shop’s 28th Avenue location was forced to close its doors March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Vernon and District CMHA thrift store reopened its doors June 10 but it lost significant revenue for programming because of the closure.

“Closing the store didn’t just have an impact on our clients, staff and volunteers here,” Vernon CMHA executive director Julia Payson said. “It also meant the loss of a significant funding stream for our programs.”

Last year, the store earned around $165,000 for the mental health agency.

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund offered some help. Accessed through the Community Futures North Okanagan, CMHA Vernon received a $40,000 interest-free repayable contribution to alleviate some of the financial hardship brought on by the ongoing pandemic.

“This loan gives us breathing room so we can work on a recovery plan to increase sales in the short term and create a strategy for the future in case further closures occur,” Payson said.

Donations are accepted via the front door or the loading zone if several bags and boxes are in town. Volunteers will assist at the loading zone behind the store between 10-4 p.m.

COVID-19 safety protocols including hand sanitizing, limited customers (10), and having staff and volunteers wear masks are in effect. All donated clothing and items are cleaned before they are displayed in store.

The Georgette Shop, located at 3100 – 28th Ave., is open Monday to Friday 10-5 p.m. and Saturday 10-4 p.m. Donations will not be accepted outside of store hours.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Vernon CMHA programs get boost from province

READ MORE: Okanagan artists showcase works at Vernon mall


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