Fifteen months is an awfully long time to be closed and still try to keep in touch! The good news though, is that we are coming out on the other side of this pandemic and getting closer to being able to get back together as a Center! We know you are wondering: “when will the thrift shop open more?” and “why isn’t the Center open yet?” Let me attempt to answer.
Because the thrift shop plays a huge part financially in our ability to stay open and provide services to our seniors, the focus of our small staff and myself, shifted to opening the shop on a limited basis despite the management roles being vacant. Fridays and Saturdays are all we can manage right now. Another full day is devoted to sorting and pricing the items that came in on the weekend so that we can start fresh again on Friday. We are so thrilled to have the shop open! The two days of shopping are a fun and exciting experience for all of us, and more importantly our customers! Our goal will be to open more eventually as we have staff and volunteers to do so.
The Center has been a busy place despite being closed. We have focused our efforts to providing essential needs to seniors, and in our partnership with Camano Fire Department to host the COVID vaccination clinics. As the vaccination needs decrease, the space will be open again for Center activities. Although we would love to just flip a switch and resume everything that was happening in 2019, we cannot accomplish that. We will need to slowly bring back essential programs, rentals, and social groups.
Because COVID restrictions are still a moving target, the way we schedule groups into the building will need to change. We want to be smart about how we do this and there are many unknowns still…Do we require masks? Do we require proof of vaccinations? What do we do if someone is not masked or vaccinated? How many people can participate? It is all new to us, so please be patient with us as we try to do the best thing possible for everyone involved.
In addition to the health and safety of everyone coming into the center, there is the reality of what it costs to run the organization. We have been able to keep essential needs going for over a year with a few part-time staff, because of generous donors and grants. Moving forward though, we need to work on a sustainable income stream to fund the programs and to support rentals and social groups.
Our goal throughout the past year has been to come out of the closure as a stronger non-profit and a stronger community. We have accomplished this, and we are eager to keep working towards offering the programs and activities that our community relies on us to provide.
In the coming weeks and months, we will slowly be opening programs, then events and rentals on a small basis, and eventually the social groups. Once we formulate a plan to staff and be able to financially support each activity, you will hear about it.
We could not do what we have done this past year without you and your generosity in time and money. Your support of the Center and the Thrift Shop is beyond amazing! I’ve said it before, and it warrants repeating, we thank you from the very bottom of our hearts!
Bonnie Eckley—Executive Director
606 Arrowhead Road
Camano Island, WA 98282
Monday - Friday Closed
2nd Chance Thrift Shop
1335 State Route 532
Camano Island, WA 98282
Friday & Saturday
Until we are full for the day