Thrift Shop

since 1958
Customer Shopping at Chemainus Thrift Store

The Thrift Shop is the Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary’s pride and joy operation!

The Thrift Shop has been in business since 1958, and is the main source of revenue for our Auxiliary.  We have an excellent reputation all over Vancouver Island as “the place to go” for quality second hand goods at very reasonable prices. Our shop is clean, well organized and it has over 100 dedicated volunteers working tirelessly towards our success.  In addition to sorting, pricing, and selling the many items donated by the community at the shop, some of our volunteers work at home packaging items, sewing and knitting items for sale, checking and repairing items, and so much more!

For our customers, buying “gently used” clothing and household items is not only cost effective, but it also diverts a lot of products from going into the landfills.

Our thrift shop has a wide variety of quality merchandise.  On any given day, you might find a vintage wool blanket, a beautifully framed picture, designer shoes, a garden hoe, the wrapping paper you need – and so much more!

See Inside the Shop


This is a decision based on the number of COVID-19 cases in Cowichan Valley and the proposed dates for vaccinations.

COVID-19 Vaccine Registration

The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary continues to re-evaluate the temporary closure of our Thrift Shop due to COVID-19. As the average age of our volunteer base is 75+, the health and safety of our special, hard-working and dedicated group of women and men, is essential. It is for this reason that the Shop will remain closed for the next few weeks until there is greater confidence in the provincial vaccine rollout plan, and we see a decrease in Central Vancouver Island cases.

Of course, as we continue to understand more about the virus and the variants of COVID-19 in the days and weeks ahead, we will plan for and adapt some of our volunteer roles, and your community shopping experience.

We know our closure and the anxiety of safe shopping has made this a long haul for everyone, but with a new season just around the corner, we are so hopeful for the promise of Spring and all that it brings: warmer weather, greater daylight and sunshine, and certainly greater clarity of our provincial vaccine plan. We encourage you to use this last bit of winter to take the opportunity to declutter those closets, basements and garages. Then please tuck aside your quality items for donation as our restart plan will be published here on our website, in local media and on our Facebook page as soon as our returning volunteers feel safe.

With your continued understanding, loyalty and support, as well as staying diligent in safe COVID-19 prevention behaviors, we can look forward to soon greeting you at our door, and humming along to the old tunes while you search for that fabulous “new to you” bargain.

We miss you, our loyal customers and donators! Our Auxiliary loves Chemainus and truly looks forward to volunteering and serving our community as we have in the past.  We are determined to get through this with the least amount of risk to all.  Take care and stay safe.

Thrift Shop

9867 Maple Street
Chemainus, BC
V0R 1K1

Tel: (250) 246-2476

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Warehouse Intake

Our Thrift Shop would not be as successful without the support of the residents of Chemainus and surrounding areas.  Your generous donations of clothing and goods to the Thrift Shop enable us to provide funds that purchase much needed medical equipment and provide important health care programs in our area.

Receiving donated goods

Sorting and Pricing

Because all our shop’s merchandise comes from donations, we ask that donated items be clean, dry and in good repair. 

Volunteers accept incoming goods (after they are held in a holding bin for 24 hours), check for damage and acceptable quality, and place the product in the appropriate location for pricing.  After a second check, items are priced, using established guidelines, and then distributed for sale throughout the shop.

We take pride in offering our customers quality goods!


There are some items that we cannot accept due to government regulations, recalls, and lack of storage. Below is the list of donated items that we cannot accept:

  • Encyclopaedias And Text Books
  • Stereo Components & Speakers
  • Records/VHS Tapes/Cassettes
  • TVs
  • Computers & Equipment
  • CD Holders
  • Large Exercise Equipment
  • Old Hockey Gear
  • No Helmets of any kind
  • Life Jackets
  • Bullets
  • Medications
  • Paint
  • Dirty or Chipped China/Dishes
  • Glass Jars, (other than canning jars)
  • Old Style Suitcases
  • Venetian Blinds
  • Ironing Boards
  • Heating Pads and Electric Blankets
  • Broken/Dirty Kitchen Appliances
  • Highchairs, Cribs, Playpens, Strollers
  • Large Furniture Pieces
  • Xmas Trees – at this time
  • Baby strollers or car seats
  • Collectable Dolls or Porcelain Dolls

Donations can be dropped off at the side door of our Thrift Shop on Maple Street on Monday to Saturday from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm when we are open to the public.

Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store Cashiers
Sorting new merchandise at the Thrift Store
Thrift Store Christmas Room
Russ, Sports Dept.
Maintenance Manager for Chemainus Thrift Store
Melody and Jade, Managers of Thrift Store
Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop
Thrift Store Toys
Thrift Store Handbags

Environmental Impact

Thrift shops play a huge role in recycling, in more ways than you can imagine. It begins with the donation of quality goods brought to us by the public. This helps to keep items out of the landfills, and therefore saves energy on the manufacture, packaging and shipping of new items.

In turn, our thrift shop resells these donated items, giving them a new life, or a new purpose. By buying gently used clothing, you are helping to decrease the worldwide textile demand, and subsequent waste.

Some clothing items we are unable to sell are donated to Warmland House and Outreach, while others are repurposed for crafts, petcare, or use by our hard working trades people.

In cases where we are unable to sell/use certain items, they may be donated to Salvation Army, again keeping these items out of landfills. We also do our best to recycle all unsold plastics, glass, and paper sending them to recycling centers on the island.

2019 Golden Brush Award

2019 Golden Brush Business Excellence Award

The Golden Brush Awards honour excellence and outstanding achievement in business and community participation within Chemainus, Saltair or Crofton.

The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop was awarded the Golden Brush Award in 2019 for the “Not for Profit” of the Year by the Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce.

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