A Princeton Crisis Assistance Centre volunteer was made almost physically ill after a discovery in a bag of donated goods, left outside the group’s Vermilion Avenue thrift store.
Jenny Bishop Pateman was sorting through donations when she came across three bags of dog excrement, nestled in among some table cloths and other linens. “I was just disgusted,” she said.
When she opened the garbage bag she knew something was wrong “because it smelled.”
She made the unpleasant find after dumping the bag’s contents on the floor.
She does not believe the bags of feces were left at the thrift store’s front door by accident.
“I could see one bag being an accident, but three? No.”
At the same time, Pateman does not want to accept that someone was targeting the thrift store or the centre.
“I don’t think so. Or I would hope not, anyways. I don’t know.”
Donations are often dropped off at the store, and left on the sidewalk, however volunteers do not encourage the practice.
“We would rather that they come in when we are open, or they call first. Other people go through the bags outside and destroy them and leave everything on the ground.”
The thrift store, which is open Monday through Wednesday, from 11 .m. to 3 p.m., has been unusually busy since it reopened last month under relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.
Pateman said there are more customers and donations as the town’s other thrift store, operated by the Princeton Hospital Auxiliary, remains closed.
Also, because of the economic impacts of COVID, the centre is getting more requests for emergency aid.
“We desperately need volunteers to come in and help.”
Anyone interested in volunteering, or arranging a donation drop off, can call 250-295-8770.
The centre is grateful for community support, she added.
“We’d like to thank everyone for the donations that do come in that are very clean.”
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