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Delta community raising funds for charity thrift shop destroyed in suspicious fire

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Jan 2, 2021 at 7:22 pm PDT

(Courtesy Facebook/deltahospitalauxiliary)

A devasting suspicious fire destroyed a charity thrift shop in Delta forcing it to close

To help the shop, a photographer says he felt compelled to organize a photo fundraiser to support the shop

DELTA (NEWS 1130) — A community in Delta is raising money to get a charity thrift store in Ladner back on its feet after it was devasted by a suspicious fire that broke out last week.

Dennis Bellia, a photographer with Dynamic Weddings, says he felt compelled to organize a photo fundraiser to support the Delta Hospital Auxiliary thrift shop after he saw how ravaged the store was by the fire — saying it’s more than just a store.

“To me it’s not about a thrift store, to me it’s about community … The community is very generous when they donate to the thrift store because they know that those funds are going directly to Delta hospital,” Bellia says.

“First there was COVID. Now there’s a fire. I think this is more of an opportunity for the community to come together.”

RELATED: Delta charity thrift shop forced to close after suspicious fire

Bellia adds proceeds from photo sessions booked for the next two weekends will go directly to the thrift shop.

“What we’ve done is we’ve created these five-minute slots, where families can book a session and 100 per cent of that session is going to be donated directly to Delta hospital. So within less than 24 hours — less than a day, I sold out.”

And after over 60 emails from people hoping to get on the waitlist, Bellia decided to add a second session “slightly modified.”

“50 per cent of the session fee is going to be donated directly to Delta hospital, and 10 per cent of any of our other sales will also be directly donated to Delta Hospital if sessions are booked by the ninth of January.”

The store owner says, they hadn’t recovered from a months-long closure in the spring due to the pandemic.

“We’re learning from pandemic … we don’t necessarily have to focus on the negative. We can focus on the positive and the priority in life — and it is about family. It is about community. It is about overcoming the adversity and working together, and supporting one another. That’s what’s inspiring me, and so many other people.

The shop will be closed indefinitely for assessment and repairs.