Salvation Army thrift store re-opens in Williams Lake after shutting doors due to COVID-19

Hope is to open community services next week

Thrift shoppers have already been visiting the Salvation Army Thrift Store which re-opened Thursday, June 18 after receiving the go-ahead from national office.

“It was the result of a lot of hard work and a little bit of pushing,” said Salvation Army Lt. Dawn Butt of the effort to get the store open again after COVID-19 had forced them to close the doors. “They had some really great sale days on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It’s been really busy.”

Pandemic precautions are in place and the staff are adjusting and ‘playing it by ear’ as each day unfolds, Butt added.

“Some people like to browse for hours and that cuts into the time, but we are letting anywhere from 10 to 20 people inside at one time and we are not really counting kids so those who shop with kids take up a little more space.”

Seven people work at the thrift store and were laid off during the beginning of the pandemic until one week before the store re-opened.

To prepare for the re-opening, staff cleaned up, set up and rearranged some things and made some changes, including removing the change rooms, which has also given them more space to put items out, Butt explained.

Tamara Robinson, director of family services and community outreach, said the meals are no longer being served out of the emergency services truck but out of the front foyer.

Read more: Salvation Army Williams Lake moves to food services from truck, hamper deliveries

“It is looking by next Monday we will be opening fully, our family services, and this Wednesday our Plexiglass gets installed and we will be doing some staff training,” Robinson said. “It’s exciting news.”

Williams Lake’s other thrift store, The Recycle Bin, opened several weeks ago in its new location near the TD Bank on Second Avenue North.

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The Salvation Army Thrift Store re-opened Thursday, June 18. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

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