New to You sells it all. (Tom Roper photo)

New to You sells it all. (Tom Roper photo)

New to You not new to the Bulkley Valley

The roots of the thrift store organization go back a century

I had a chance to get the ladies of New to You together a few weeks back and asked them how they were able to build such a successful operation.

This organization goes back over 100 years and began as the Catholic Women’s Association. Driven by Mary Dunlop and Mrs. Williams, they had set up a consignment store next to the old Super Value.

They then formed the Hospital Auxiliary and collected clothing to help those in need. Many times clothes were cut off while patients were receiving emergency care. The auxiliary also encouraged young persons interested in nursing to become candy stripers (helpers) in the hospital.

From those early days, the hospital auxiliary has continually expanded to what we have today at King and Broadway Ave. Harold Reedy was the owner of the building at the time and gave the auxiliary the opportunity to make smaller payments over a longer time frame to get the mortgage paid.

Over the years, the New to You has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to further its cause. “We want to give back to our community is our first and only goal,” say the four key ladies. Gisela, Linda, Charlotte, and Winette are presently the driving force behind this amazing operation of volunteers.

“We are the organizers but we have many helpers and are always looking for more,” says Gisela.

“So how do you become a volunteer helper?” I asked.

“Well, it’s easy to become a worker, but there does take some commitment and responsibility. You have to be able to follow direction and work together. You also have to be able to do some of the jobs that can be less than exciting like sorting clothes, stocking shelves and such. And of course you need to be reliable and show up for your shift on time” says Linda.

“I am surprised at the items that you sell, I had no idea your inventory was so diverse,” I mentioned.

“We sell it all,” said Winette “From soup to nuts. Well not quite, more like clothing to kitchenware, books to purses, shoes and boots. Video games, pictures, and curling irons are on the shelves. Come down and see what’s available.”

“I have dropped off items for you to sell before, but I have never purchased any. I always felt the store was for those in need,” I said.

“That is not at all true, says Linda, our store is for everyone, we have lots of customers looking for vintage items or hard-to-find electronics. Certainly, someone with growing children can benefit from our reasonable priced clothing, but remember, our goal is to raise money for hospital needs and all our other charities. We donate to the Cordaban House in Prince George. We are supporting the new Ukrainian families in Smithers, those living at Goodacre Place and our local food hamper. We are there for those that suffer a house fire and we also are supporting eight bursaries.”

“I’ll say it again, You people are amazing,” I had to comment.

“Just remember when you bring items to drop off for us to sell, do not bring junk,” said Gisela. “If it is too worn out for you to wear, it will be too worn out for us to sell. Unfortunately, we can spend too much wasted time sorting out garbage that should go to the dump. We want to sell quality items just like you would want to buy quality items.”

Thanks for this, Ladies, and thanks so much for your dedication.

 

New to You is a great place to buy and donate gently used clothing. (Tom Roper)

New to You is a great place to buy and donate gently used clothing. (Tom Roper)

The thrift store is run by volunteers. (Tom Roper)

The thrift store is run by volunteers. (Tom Roper)

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