Charitable thrift shop at hospital gets upgraded

Posted at 9:21 PM, Jun 26, 2014

ST. GEORGE, Utah - The Hospital Thrift is small, but does some big work.

On an annual basis, volunteers put in close to 10,000 hours of service. Now, thanks to the efforts of one of those volunteers, the facility has more room to move.

The receiving area at the small thrift store, until recently, was nothing more than a tin roof. The open area was hot in the summer and cold in the winter. That’s when longtime volunteer Jo Collester decided something needed to change.

“I see a need, identify the need and do something about it,” Collester said. “It was very ineffective, as far as being able to sort out the merchandise.”

Collester funded the addition, which now gives volunteers ample space to receive donations, sort them and get them ready for the sales floor. Collester said it was an honor to do something for a non-profit that has become her second home.

“This is my second love,” she said. “To work here, and the high energy and the wonderful companionship.”

The store was established in the 1990’s by the Intermountain Foundation to further the charitable work by Dixie Regional Medical Center. Revenue from the thrift store has, among other things, paid for upgrades to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit and purchased a LifeFlight helicopter.

“The residents of St. George are very loyal to this operation,” said Southwest Region chief development officer Glenna Beyer. “There’s a lot of volunteer support and donors that want to support it.”

The construction of the addition is very simple, but directors said the effects will be far reaching not just for the hospital and the foundation, but volunteers say it’s rewarding for them too.

“It’s just a wonderful feeling knowing that what we do here benefits so many people,” said volunteer Mary Helen Anderson. “As well as ourselves.”

The hospital thrift store is located at 76 W. St. George Blvd.