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COOS COUNTY — A ribbon cutting ceremony is being held Thursday at the South Coast Hospice Thrift Store to unveil its new donor recognition wall and community-sharing program, as well as to introduce its new executive director to the community.

Lorell Durkee, new CEO/Executive Director of South Coast Hospice, who replaced long-time CEO Linda Grile who retired last year, said the ceremony will not only celebrate the countless people who have supported its thrift store for more than 20 years, but it’ll also introduce its new community program.

According to Durkee, the “Pay It Forward” program will reuse, refurbish and recycle 100 percent of the store’s unsellable items which often includes pieces that are damaged or dirty.

With no resources available to clean or repair the items, the store has for years been forced to dispose of them, said Durkee. In the past several days, volunteers have disposed of nearly 3,500 pounds of damaged or dirty household items, clothing, small appliances, furniture and other donated items unfit for sale.

In an effort to cut down on its waste and find new homes for these items, Durkee said she reached out to a number of local nonprofits in need of supplies, clothes and furniture. In the hopes of expanding its reach and helping folks all around the county, Durkee said she’s excited to get the word out for other nonprofits who may be interested in joining.

Organization such as the Devereux Center, Oregon Coast Community Action, Operation Rebuild Hope and CASA of Coos County as well as numerous other nonprofits around Coos County have already expressed their interest in the new program, she said.

Once it’s up and running, the organizations will enter the program by signing a commitment letter and agreement to join. From there, each nonprofit will identify and outline the items they need to best serve their clients.

Mike Phillips opens the door of a box truck holding donations Saturday at the South Coast Hospice Thrift Store on Meade Street in North Bend.

The collaborative effort will allow the hospice to utilize its complete inventory, help community members in need and contribute to promoting a healthier environment as it will sustainably reduce its waste, said Durkee. The items will be organized and stored at a warehouse for the organizations to pick up.

“We have a warehouse in Glasgow, but we’re really hoping somebody might step forward and say that they have an empty warehouse that we can use,” said Durkee. “The more warehouse space we have the more nonprofits we can donate things to the more those organizations can help individuals in the community.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled to take place at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12, in front of the thrift store located on 1955 Meade Street in North Bend. An open house will follow the ceremony where light refreshments and beverages will be served.  

Community members interested in attending and learning more about the new program are encouraged to check the South Coast Hospice’s Facebook page for continuous updates.

A shopper looks over items earlier this month at the South Coast Hospice Thrift Store on Meade Street in North Bend. The store will remain ope…

For over 30 years, South Coast Hospice has served the Coos County community by providing an array of hospice and support services, educational outreach as well as training courses for at-home caregivers. The South Coast Hospice Thrift Store helps support the hospice center and its services and programs.    

Folks interested in donating items to go toward the new program can contact Carol Gardner, of South Coast Hospice, at 541-269-2986. Currently, the nonprofit is need of shelving units, clear plastic storage bins and boxes.


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