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Supporting Australian charities to support the community
Grab a bargain, recycle pre-loved goods and support Australian charities to help others this National Op Shop Week, which runs from 28 September until 4 October 2020.
What is an op shop? Op (or opportunity) shops are thrift stores run by charitable organisations which sell donated and used goods to raise funds to help support their frontline services. You are likely to have seen or visited some of the well-known op shops around our suburbs, including The Salvation Army, The Red Cross, Lifeline, St Vincent de Paul and the RSPCA. All up, there are some 2 500 op shops operating across Australia.
Op shops were established by the Salvation Army in 1880 as 'recycling depots' to provide work, food and shelter for men leaving prison which called 'Prison Gate Brigade Homes'.
What is National Op Shop Week all about?
The aim of National Op Shop week is to raise awareness of the important role of charity op shops in our community and boost donations of quality clothing and household goods to charity op shops boost charity op shop sales recognise the work of the volunteers and staff dedicated to supporting their charity op shop
Buy or donate You can get involved by visiting an op shop and checking out the goods or donating items. From functional furniture, fashionable clothes, shoes, bundles of books, and useful household goods, op shops have a mixed collection of items from the antique to designer brands to purchase As well as the usual items, there's often the rare and unexpected. I found a manual typewriter, an engraved silver baby christening cup and a second-hand trumpet. You never know what you will find!
Reusing, recycling and upcycling clothes and goods are important to the environment and cost-effective, particularly during the age of COVID.
Help provide social services to the community The funds raised by charities at their op shops goes towards providing important front line services to the community such as:
Migrant and refugee assistance
Food vans and food vouchers
Drug and alcohol counselling
Animal welfare and more
So you will feel good knowing that by donating and buying goods, you will be helping others in a real way.
Gardening Australia host and horticultural personality Costa Georgiadis has gone from garden gnome to happening hipster to support the cause as an Ambassador National Op Shop Week with a cool makeover using goods from op shops. That is one impressive transformation and cost-effective too.
Op shops rely on volunteers in their stores which is rewarding in many ways. By volunteering, you can:
Learn new skills in retail
Add new volunteering experience to your resume
Connect with your community
Make new friends with dedicated volunteers and staff
Receive great discounts
Have fun with fashion.
On a personal level, what have I done for Op Shop Week? Well, I purchased an outdoor table for my backyard from the Salvation Army and will look forward to welcoming family and friends (in a COVID safe way) to enjoy my garden and give the table another chapter in its life. An antique silver curio will finish off the look and I'm sure it will become a talking point. I can't wait for someone to ask, "Where did you get that?"