Volunteers key to success at Vintage on Hastings

Bev Rollins organizes and sorts all the donations that come through the receiving area of Vintage on Hastings by Hospice.

Bev Rollins organizes and sorts all the donations that come through the receiving area of Vintage on Hastings by Hospice.

When Hospice North Hastings coordinator Heather Brough was asked to consider the purchase of what is now Vintage on Hastings, Brough called her Board and she also called long-time Hospice volunteer Bev Rollins.

Rollins has been a volunteer with Hospice for many years. She’s a fixture at Village Playhouse events where she sells tickets and ushers. She’s also an office volunteer at the Hospice House for North Hastings. But from 2001 to 2006, Rollins was an active volunteer at a community Thrift Shop in downtown Bancroft so when Brough asked her what she thought her answer was definitive. Rollins said she thought it was a great idea and she also said she would like to help.

So, with Board approval and a team of lawyers tackling the details of the real estate transaction, Vintage on Hastings by Hospice was launched in August and Rollins has been in the shop, doing whatever was needed, almost every day since.

Rollins says she likes cleaning and organizing but she’s also happy to visit with shoppers and she’s quick to thank anyone dropping off donations to the Hastings Street store that now helps raise money for Hospice.

“I told a nice gentleman today about Hospice,” Rollins says as she takes a quick break in the kitchen where volunteers meticulously clean items before they are sold. “He was dropping off a donation and wanted to know where the money was going. I thanked him and I told him how much this helps because Hospice does not get funding from the government. He was delighted to be helping such a great cause.”

There’s quite a bit of Hospice education going on at the store with the whole team of volunteers making sure that shoppers and visitors know about the services that Hospice provides, that the services are free and that this small shop will make a big difference to those needing end of life care or even the loan of medical equipment like walkers and wheelchairs.

Rollins says she loves being in the store because it gives her something to do and she says the volunteers are all great to work with. They do all have fun when they get together. There is mutual support, they excel at customer service and everyone really likes being part of this team.

Heather Brough has also been spending lots of time in the shop since it opened in August and Rollins says she enjoys the working relationship that they have. She says they problem solve, collaborate and of course, they always share some laughs.

“She used to work for me, you know,” Rollins says with a smile.

Brough’s first job was looking after a young Thomas Rollins when Bev was busy with business and political commitments.

“She looked after him on the holidays, in the summer and on PA days. She helped right up until she went to study nursing.”

The long history between the two women is a nice anchor for the business and the rest of the volunteer team has also really gelled. The store looks a bit different than it did in the past, there are higher-end, collector and vintage finds but thrift store pricing remains in place for the essentials that our community has come to rely on. Everyone has fun with the displays, choosing which pieces get showcased on Facebook, they love visiting with store patrons and of course, they all get excited about the wonderful, generous donations that keep flooding into the shop.

“So many of the items that come in bring back memories,” Rollins says. “It really is a wonderful place to be.”

Rollins and the rest of the volunteer team at Vintage on Hastings by Hospice are looking forward to a busy fall season selling vintage and thrift items from the store in downtown Bancroft. They’re also looking forward to meeting new shoppers, donors and being on the front lines working to support the people of North Hastings through their work with Hospice.

Vintage on Hastings by Hospice is open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5pm and on Saturdays from 10 – 2pm. Donations and new volunteers are always welcome.