I'm a freelance journalist involved in PR and writing.
Published October 6th 2011
For many people money is getting tighter and shopping is becoming a luxury, but not for the smart shoppers. Op shops across the country are home to some of the most amazing finds.
Often they will stock cheap items that are surprisingly brand or near new. Not only are you saving some money at these treasure spots, but helping a worthy cause.
Here are some of the more popular op shops across the Gold Coast, helping fund programs and awareness from charities and the less fortunate.
Salvo's Op Shops
The Salvo's (Salvation Army) is a widely known charity, offering care and support for all Australians.
Their support for the everyday care of Australians is reflected in their motto 'from the cradle to the grave.'
The Salvo's offer support in many areas including; aged care, children's services, community services, crisis and support accommodation, employment services, financial counselling, outback flying service, professional counselling, recovery services, suicide support, telephone counselling and youth support.
There are 13 stores spread across the Gold Coast, including Mermaid Beach (Shop 11, Mermaid Plaza, Gold Coast Highway), Nerang (Shop 4/5, 23-25 Station Street) and at the main office in Molendinar (3-9 Precision Drive).
For a full listing of Salvation Army Op Shops, the online store, services available and their mission, visit the Salvo's website.
Lifeline is a charity aimed at the mental health and support of all Australians.
They have three major, national service program areas that connect Australians with the care and advice they need, including crisis support, mental health support and suicide prevention.
On top of this they launch campaigns to promote wellbeing, education and awareness to help those in need.
They also run the 24 hour crisis telephone support service, helping those who call for many reasons including abuse, mental wellbeing, trauma and how to support their family or friends in need.
Lifeline has ten Gold Coast locations including Oxenford, Burleigh West and Palm Beach. For a full list check out your White Pages or use a search engine.
RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals)
The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals) is a not for profit, community based charity that works to prevent cruelty to animals by promoting their care and protection. RSPCA Australia is responsible for national campaigns and events, representing the interests of animal welfare in areas such as live exports, puppy farms and animal cruelty.
The RSPCA has three op shops across the Gold Coast at Broadbeach Waters (2235 Gold Coast Highway), Burleigh Heads (3/18 Township Drive) and Nerang (Cnr Price Street & Ferry Road).
AWL QLD (The Animal Welfare League of Queensland)
The Animal Welfare League of Queensland is a not for profit organisation, responsible for taking care of and re-homing approximately 10,000 strayed and abandoned animals annually from South East Queensland. With no government funding, the shelters heavily rely on community support.
The AWL specialises in looking after dogs and cats, but has also been home to pigs, ducks, chickens and more with two shelters in South East Queensland, fostering and rehabilitation programs. The AWL's mission is to bring an end to the euthanasia of healthy animals in Australia through legislative changes, education and awareness.
The AWL has seven op shops on the Gold Coast, including Southport, Miami and the Labrador Warehouse (Brisbane Road, Labrador).
The Endeavour Foundation supports more than 3000 people with a disability across 230 locations in Queensland and New South Wales. They are one of the largest non government disability service providers in Australia and offer a range of services including aged support, accommodation support, employment and education opportunities and programs as well as services tailored to young adults and children.
Endeavour has only one Op Shop on the Gold Coast located at Central Park, 3/16 Central Park Ave in Ashmore and would appreciate your donations and support.
Vinnies (St Vincent de Paul Society)
St Vincent de Paul Society (more commonly known as Vinnies) is a charitable organisation that deals with poverty and abuse. Vinnies has over 40,000 volunteers in Australia alone, supporting those in need with support, friendship and material assistance through furniture, clothing and household goods to help break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage.
The Australian Red Cross is a not for profit organisation that provides relief state, nation and worldwide.
Not only are the Red Cross promoters of the blood bank to keep blood supplies up for transfusions and operations, but natural disaster relief, providing shelter, food and medical help to those in need and providing emotional support.
The Red Cross pride themselves on being among the first to arrive and last to leave when disaster strikes, and an important part of local communities every day.
With only one op shop on the Gold Coast at Tree Tops Shopping Centre in Burleigh Waters, support one of Australia's longest and proud relief support units.
So with all these good charities out there providing decent if not brand new products and vintage clothing that rocks, why not support a charity and get yourself something new.