On March 31st, The Tumbler Ridge Thrift Store was open for business for the last time. Over 75 people waited outside prior to opening, and many more filtered in and out throughout the day.
On March 13th, a letter was included under correspondence in the Council agenda. The letter was from Donald Spratt on behalf of Renaissance Canada. Spratt said that the TR Thrift store had been advised to vacate the premises of Claude Galebois School. All other operations were also suspended, including termination of contracts with service providers.
The Thrift store started out in the Commercial Park about ten years ago and was run by the Salvation Army. In 2002 Renaissance Canada took over the store when the Salvation Army ended their business in Tumbler Ridge. In 2006, the store relocated to Claude Galebois School. The grand opening was on February 4th. In the August 30th edition of Tumbler Ridge News, the Thrift store announced its closing.
Bernadette Sipe, Board Coordinator of the store, said that as a non-profit organization, proceeds went directly to helping residents in need. Sipe said that a person or family in need of groceries would be able to get food from Shop Easy. The Thrift store would reimburse the grocery store. The Thrift store also provided food and clothing for women in abusive situations who needed emergency assistance. Others who had no job when moving into the community would be given gas money if they required a visit to the doctors? office in Dawson Creek.
Residents took advantage of the free items at the Thrift Store on March 31st. TV?s, lamps, car seats, and clothing were some of the things that people were loading into their vehicles. Some people were happy to find treasures and collectibles. Vanessa Knight, a resident of Tumbler Ridge, was happy to find a few records that she was interested in. ?It?s too bad that this store is closing,? Knight said, ?I just moved here and I haven?t really gotten a chance to check it out yet.?