The White Elephant thrift store is closing its doors Tuesday in the face of rising coronavirus cases and a decline in volunteers.
Manager Karen Lavo said Monday that they will be closed until numbers improve and won’t accept donations during that time.
Lavo said several volunteers have said they are stepping back until they’ve had the vaccine. The store has seen several workers pass away from the virus or complications of it while others have tested positive and have shown no symptoms, she said.
“We are getting people who are calling and saying, ‘I can’t work,’ and they are key positions in the store and we can’t operate like that,” Lavo said. “We’re also concerned that people will get sick. It’s a safety measure.”
The store reopened Oct. 1 after shutting down in mid-March, yet still was able to give $590,000 to charities in December. It also canceled it parade in 2020, only the third time in more than 50 years.
Lavo said they’re bringing in $5,000 to $6,000 most days, down from what should be about $7,500 in the high season, and $10,000 on weekends. They have about 600 shoppers a day, all wearing masks, social distancing and with a limit of 120 inside the store at one time.
Lavo said updates are best found by going directly to their website, gvwhiteelephant.com.