• Last modified 725 days ago (July 9, 2020)


Thrift store short of volunteers

Staff writer

St. Luke Hospital Auxiliary Shoppe might have to switch from two days a week to one if it can’t recruit more volunteers.

“There are a lot of people in the community that love the shop and what it does for not only our hospital but for our community as a whole,” hospital spokesman Roger Schroeder said.

Mary Ann Conyers, who co-manages the store along with Walter Hein, said the shop has been short of volunteers for weeks and could use 12 more volunteers to operate at its best.

“We’re down to maybe half,” Conyers said. “Whether it’s COVID or poor health or age, we were low for a year on volunteers.”

Volunteers perform different tasks.

“We’re having a hard time now finding cashiers,” Conyers said. “Last week we had only one register open because we didn’t have another volunteer. We’re not running like a well-oiled machine right now.”

Hein has volunteered at the store since two months after he retired in 2013.

“I stayed home about two months and said, ‘I’ve got to get out of here,’ ” Hein said.

Hospital CEO Jeremy Ensey said the auxiliary was essential to the hospital, living center, and clinic.

In recent years the auxiliary donated money for renovation of the living center, helped with room expenses, and added a tub to a spa, Ensey said.

It also paid for work on the home health department’s building and for remodeling of the clinic’s waiting room.

“We wouldn’t have been able to do those things without the auxiliary’s support,” he said.

The shop is also a benefit to other Marion businesses by bringing regular out-of-town customers downtown.

Conyers said anyone interested in volunteering could leave contact information with the hospital.

“I’ll give them a call and we’ll go from there,” she said.

Last modified July 9, 2020