I love our Op Shops.
Not only can people receive financial assistance in the form of low-cost clothing, food and goods, our Op Shops are also places where emotional, social and spiritual support is offered.
It’s not uncommon to walk into one of our stores and find an out-of-the way, quiet nook, perfect for sitting down for a cuppa and a conversation. The pantry shelf is stocked with food that might be the first meal that someone’s had in days. And what I love most, is that it’s not uncommon to find that several pantry and clothing bags have been paid for in advance by a kind stranger.
Our managers and volunteers are some of the kindest, most generous and discerning people I’ve met. They’re experts at checking in with their customers, helping them feel heard. And they provide referrals and advocate on behalf of others to other services.
You might be surprised to know that our Op Shops are a sanctuary for many. The refugee, the single mum, those fleeing domestic violence, drug-affected individuals, the homeless, the curious 20-somethings and everyone in between all find their way to our stores. It’s something I’m incredibly proud of and I’m excited to keep supporting.
If you’re able to drop into an Op Shop near you, take a minute to see how you can bless the managers and patrons. Ask about paying it forward, drop off a food or coffee voucher, bring by some cookies or just make the effort to stop, acknowledge and thank those behind the counter.