A lot of items selling for a low price add up to a large amount of money. During 2012, the South Wind Hospice Thrift Shop handed over about $72,000 that went directly to care of patients at the hospice house on Yucca Lane and in their homes.

Total income for the year was about $80,000 and expenses were around $8,000, Manager Paula Vandenberg White said at a luncheon honoring shop volunteers on Monday. Income was about $12,000 more than the previous year, owing in large part, to donations of high quality furniture and other items that fetched more than the few dollars marked on most shop goods.

Hospice Director Ginger Goering added her thanks to the volunteers.

"You have helped us resolve some of the financial issues (of the organization). Going forward, we may be able to use some of those funds for something special."

Goering's reference was to a financial situation she inherited when she became director in 2009 that led to the not-for-profit organization filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The hospice is nearing settlement of those issues, is paying all its current bills, and will be able to sustain itself in the future, Goering said.

"The thrift shop is a strong force in helping us get to that point," she said.

The shop is open Wednesday through Saturday, with a force of 27 active volunteers. Some are brand new; some have helped since the shop opened in 2004. Some contribute just a few hours; others many more.

"It isn't a question of how many hours you put in, it's that you give what you have and it's a help," Vandenberg White said. "All of you keep the shop going."

Volunteers contributed 3,631 hours of service in 2012, and for the first four months of this year, have already tallied 1,035.

The thrift shop sells clothing, household goods, vintage linens, toys, books, home furnishings and a lot that can only be described as miscellaneous.

They have had good success selling books at Amazon.com, Vandenberg White said; however they are using eBay less than previously, because of increased fees. She uses the site as a resource in setting prices of antique or collectible items.

On a related note, Goering said the purse auction that some consider to be a must-attend spring event raised about $14,000 this year and seems to be growing in popularity.