Osoyoos thrift shop raises $30,000 for Penticton hospital

Manager Anne Polischuk, back right, supervises volunteers at the Osoyoos United Church Thrift Store.

An Osoyoos charity will have its name on a patient room at the expanded Penticton Regional Hospital after it recently topped up a $30,000 donation to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.

Funding raised by the Dorcas Unit of the Osoyoos United Church will help supply medical equipment for the hospital patient care tower currently under construction.

The Dorcas ladies raised funds over the last two years by operating a thrift shop in the basement of the United Church — an effort the group has carried on for more than 50 years.

“It all started with a group of ladies doing garage sales and having little sales in the parking lot to support the church,” said Marie Therrien, the society’s president. “Then it developed into a weekly thrift shop – and now we’re open four days a week.”

Therrien said their membership didn’t hesitate to up their support for PRH.

“So many Osoyoos residents end up as patients in Penticton that we decided it would be very worthwhile for our own community to support it,” she said.

Mrs. Therrien emphasized that the Dorcas have not overlooked other Osoyoos charities while supporting the Penticton Regional Hospital.

“Absolutely not. We have been able to do many things locally here in Osoyoos plus contributing to some individuals’ needs as well.”

The Dorcas Ladies also donate to such causes as the Osoyoos food bank, an Osoyoos Secondary School scholarship, fire relief efforts, a foster child in Africa, as well as the church itself.

“It still surprises me how well we do with the Thrift Store because Osoyoos is not a large community,” Mrs. Therrien said. “We have very limited space but we do very well with what we have.”

The organization is named after the Biblical woman Dorcas who made coats and other items for needy people in the years following the death of Jesus Christ.

The Thrift Shop, located in the church basement, is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. It generates almost $50,000 a year in proceeds which the Dorcas donate to charity.

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