St. Luke Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shoppe volunteers have spent the last two weeks wading through a profuse amount of stuff.
At the end of July, patrons bombarded the Auxiliary with so many donations that volunteers needed time to catch up.
Signs were posted asking patrons to refrain from donating from Aug. 1 until Friday.
Mary Ann Conyers, a volunteer joint manager at the Auxiliary, was astounded by the community’s support.
“It was like OMG,” she said. “People are just so generous, but we needed a little time to process. There were times when we couldn’t walk through the back room. It was entirely full.”
Walter Hein, another volunteer joint manager, was flummoxed, too.
“I have no idea how many boxes we sorted, but we got swamped with garage sale items,” he said. “We had to make paths to get around the receiving area.”
Adults’ and kids’ clothing as well as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and other holiday decorations made up the bulk of the overflowing mass, Hein said.
Conyers said a family had dropped off six pickup truck loads of stuff before the Auxiliary went on its sabbatical from donations.
“I think this the second time in the history of the auxiliary that this has happened,” Lenore Dieter, president of the auxiliary advisory board, said. “It’s a wonderful thing.”
Volunteers spent the last two weeks sorting everything. They moved many items out onto the sales floor, but many were organized and stored upstairs in banana boxes that nearly touched the ceiling in many places.
Volunteers also took the opportunity to do a few renovations on the receiving area.
With the help of other volunteers, handyman Orville Pfeiffer installed a large sink for washing donated items and built a small area to hang baskets. Volunteers also added a new tabletop to one sorting area, additional shelving, and a new opening from the receiving area to the sales floor.
“It’s been crazy, but we needed the donations,” Conyers said, “and things will go back to normal this weekend.”