Crisis reinforces how special our Whidbey community is. Early in the morning on July 23, I stood in the parking lot at Senior Thrift, with Cindi Quigley, store manager, watching thick black smoke pouring from the windows. The 20-plus firefighters who contained the fire and damage were just the beginning of the outpouring of support from our wonderful community. In addition to South Whidbey Fire/EMS, our deep appreciation goes out to Whidbey Telecom, Whidbey Island Bank, Jerry Beck and Co., The Levitt Group Northwest (our insurance broker), and Liberty Mutual for rapid response and genuine support in our time of need.
Although there is no evidence of damage from the outside, several trusses holding up the attic are severely damaged, along with the furnace and wiring, and there is extensive smoke damage throughout the building. The insurance adjuster indicates that it will take approximately four months before doors can open again… hopefully just in time for the holidays. We are aiming for a grand re-opening by the Thanksgiving shopping weekend!
We expect that much of the inventory of the store that has any cloth or upholstery was destroyed. We will be accepting items for donations soon to rebuild our inventory prior to re-opening. In the interim, we have ordered cargo containers to hold new donations. Profits from Senior Thrift support all our programs throughout Island County, for seniors and adults with disabilities, their families, and caregivers.
We will continue to rely on the support of our community to help through this time. Monetary donations can be made online at www.senior-resources.org/donate or by mail to Island Senior Resources, 14595 SR 525, Langley, WA 98260.
Our finance, outreach and communication staff, usually housed at Senior Thrift, is temporarily at Island Senior Resources (Bayview). We’ve moved these important people/roles into temporary office space in Freeland.
Meanwhile, our Thrift Store staff are finding numerous ways to take on outdoor projects at the store while we wait for containers to arrive and a salvage company to assess inventory damage. They have removed the thrift store’s contents and donated it to local charitable causes, striped the center parking areas, trimmed trees and shrubs, and cleaned up garden beds. More to come.
This is one of those “life gives you lemons” moments and we are intent on making lemonade. Stick with us, we need our community!
Island Senior Resources executive director