After 8 years of volunteering on the Board of Directors for the VGH Thrift Store, Brian Jones’ enthusiasm is still as infectious as if it was his first day. Brian has been on the Board since 2011 and in 2014 became President of the Board. Originally from across the pond, this UK native has been in Vancouver for a number of years and has grown very fond of the East Village in particular. As we walk to grab an afternoon tea at East Café, Brian tells us, “I love the mom and pop shops, it’s what gives this neighbourhood plenty of character.”
Sipping our teas, we asked Brian how he has stayed on the Board for 8 years with the same enthusiasm and passion as when he began. “You don’t think about how you’re contributing to a greater cause as you are pricing items,” he laughs, “it’s not until you sit down and reflect you get those warm and fuzzy feelings that make it all worthwhile.”
“People will say that they volunteer because they want to contribute to a greater good, which is lovely,” Brian explains, “but I volunteer because of how much I get out of it. It’s fun, social, and overall really pleasant.” Living out in Port Moody, working at UBC, and volunteering with the VGH Thrift Store, Brian is often dashing all around the city. I asked him how he has managed to wear so many different hats, “Volunteering is something that I actually look forward to. Perhaps it’s selfish, but I believe it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. I’m happy and so is the organization.”
As we walk back to the thrift store, Brian tells me that walking through the neighbourhood with James is always an experience, “it’s like every second person says hello to him because they know him from the thrift store!” Both James and Brian boast about the immense support the thrift store has received from the neighbourhood. “The community has really embraced us here,” says James, “It’s much different than the previous space we were in. It’s much more intimate now and I think a lot of that comes from the neighbourhood,” adds Brian.
Want to support a good cause? Volunteer at the VGH Thrift Store today!
The VGH Thrift Store is a not-for-profit organization. Their goal is to run an efficient and fiscally responsible operation to raise funds in support of patients, clients and families served by Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), UBC Hospital and other facilities and community services of Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) in Vancouver. To raise funds in support of patients, clients and families served by Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), UBC Hospital (UBCH) and other facilities and community services of Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) in Vancouver.