To the countless number of people in the community, the is more than just a place to shop for household goods.
“The thrift store is like a big family with familiar faces coming weekly, some even daily,” said Beverly Reinvik, president of the Peninsula Orthopedic Guild #6. “The store is so much a part of our being that it leaves a big hole in our lives.”
Since the , 29 members of the Peninsula Orthopedic Guild are still grieving the loss but are ready to rebuild from the ground up.
The thrift store, operated by the Peninsula Orthopedic Guild #1, is one of 38 guilds in the Tacoma Orthopedic Association. Their mission is to raise money for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma. In 2011, the Peninsula Orthopedic Guild donated $78,453 to the hospital.
The group was formed in Gig Harbor by eight women in 1948, according to Reinvik. Their first project was a bake sale with earnings of $10.50. Since then, they have raised more than $1.7 million to Mary Bridge.
Eventually, Peggy Galbraith, a charter member of the Peninsula Guild, donated the land at the Kimball site to the Tacoma Orthopedic Association with the stipulation that a thrift store would operate on it.
In 1972, a used building was donated to the guild. It was then trucked up the hill and placed on the Kimball site on that donated land.
To make sure all of their earnings went to the hospital, the store even operated without water access, bathrooms, furnace and only one portable heater in each building.
“Everything we do is by donation,” Reinvik said. The thrift shop is also run entirely by local volunteers.
Now the organization is hoping to get the community’s help to rebuild and bounce back from the fire, which cost them $61,000.
Reinvik said they plan to raise enough money through fundraisers. She said the organization is also teaming up with the Gig Harbor Rotary during the rebuilding process.
In the meantime, the community can help by monetary donations to the Peninsula Orthopedic Guild #1 at any Kitsap Bank. Click here for locations near you.
The Thrift Shop will also be accepting donations at next month’s in Gig Harbor.