Supporting the power of humanity

This week we celebrate National Op Shop Week, which runs right around the country from 27 August to 2 September. This is the sixth year the event has been held to boost the works of Australian Red Cross, St. Vincent De Paul Society and The Salvation Army, to name a few. This year’s charity op shop ambassadors are Craig Reucassel and Gretel Killeen. Gretel has been an Op Shopper for 30 years and most of the clothing she wears on television is from an Op Shop.

The Australian Red Cross store in Canberra’s city centre is also celebrating its first birthday this week, opening its doors for the first time on 31 August 2016. Store Manager Clariana Rodrigues said, “The community in Canberra has been so supportive. The money we receive will go toward the amazing work Australian Red Cross do.”

This work includes emergency services during a disaster, providing clean water for communities throughout regional Australia, supporting programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, the ‘Good Start Breakfast Club’ initiative and daily telephone calls to isolated elderly Australians right around the country.

“We run events throughout the year including on Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Mother’s Day, for example. Right now, we have a very special display in the centre of the store for Father’s Day.” Clariana said. “Special events such as National Op Shop Week create a huge boost for us and the work we do.”

Red Cross Shops are particularly grateful for winter clothing donations such as coast, scarves, beanies and jumpers. People wishing to donate can take their donations to the store or call and request a pick up. In addition to clothing and accessories, people can donate bedding and homewares.

“There have been some great donations so far this year including crystal vases and high-quality dinnerware.” Clariana said. “We have a Japanese tea set, someone donated. It’s so beautiful! When you finish your tea, a Geisha appears at the bottom of the cup.”

Australian Red Cross estimates 95% of their workforce are volunteers, without which these not-for-profit organisations would cease to exist. If you would like to volunteer, simply visit a store or search online for various volunteer positions near you.

Are you an op-shop-shopper or contributor? Join the Op Shop revolution by sharing your fabulous find or donated treasure with @IntheCityCBR and @opshopweek on Twitter and Instagram, including the hashtags #inthecitycanberra and #NationalOpShopWeek. Happy snapping!