The Riverine Herald spoke to op shop devotee turned volunteer Di Jones for International Volunteer Day today.KATHLEEN TONINI December 5, 2012 4:45am
Echuca Salvation Army Second Chance Store staff (from left) Di Jones, Christine Nixon and Danise Whitney.
Di Jones has turned her long-held love of the Echuca Salvation Army Second Chance Store into something more meaningful.
Previously a Salvos op shop devotee, Ms Jones has been a volunteer at the shop three days a week for the past eight months.
The Riverine Herald spoke to Ms Jones about her experiences as a volunteer for International Volunteers Day today.
She serves at the front counter and helps sort mountains of clothing, linen and books at the back of the shop.
Ms Jones said volunteering at the shop allowed her to form new friendships and keep in the loop of what was going on in town.
‘‘You just feel like part of the community,’’ she said.
The mainly female volunteers — there are about 18 women who regularly volunteer at the shop — share news over cups of tea and biscuits.
Ms Jones said it was rewarding working in the shop, helping people in need find shoes, jumpers and blankets in winter, and helping people in need fit out their homes.
Sometimes her job means gently giving honest advice about what looks good, she said.
‘‘A lot of people are on their own and they don’t have anyone to help them,’’ she said.
There are a number of regular shoppers, both those who shop for the love of treasure hunting and those who do so because they have no other choice.
‘‘I like the people that come in,’’ Ms Jones said.
‘‘I’m a people person, I love helping people.’’
But the work is not all serious.
Many people come into the shop looking for costumes for dress-up parties or end of year 12 celebrations.
Ms Jones said it was amazing what could be found in the depths of the little shop.
‘‘It’s like an addiction, it is like a little treasure hunt,’’ she said.
Ms Jones said her role as a volunteer had also exposed her to realities of life for some people.
She said many people who camped by the river came in looking for blankets and warm things in winter.
‘‘Not everybody’s got a home,’’ she said.
Sorting through the piles of donations at the back of the shop, Ms Jones said some things were brand new, or as good as new.
‘‘We are a wasteful society,’’ she said.
She is proud of her work at the op shop and encouraged others to get out of their houses and get involved, even if it was only for a few hours.
‘‘It is rewarding doing volunteer work,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s really good.’’
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The Tungamah Football Netball Club has completed a fairytale season to clinch the Picola and District Football Netball League South East Premiership with an emphatic 106 point win over the Katamatite Tigers at Tungamah.
Billed as ‘Fabulous Flowers and Fine Food’, Tatura’s Anglican Church Parish had a successful fundraiser on Thursday, September 4.
Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh will announce upgrades to Bendigo to Echuca rail line, as well as a further upgrade to the Deniliquin line for rice freight, during celebrations at Echuca Railway station tomorrow.
David and Katrina Christie’s Nanneella dairy farm is now home to one of the biggest sheds in the district, a 160m by 37m monster.
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Seymour event packs out St Mary's College on Saturday night.
People travelled from all around the region to attend an open day at the Berrigan Rural Fire Service on Saturday.
Mia Mia Cricket Club is about to field its first cricket team since 2001
Cobram Mens Shed chips away at the issue of mental health but calls for more space.
Breakout seasons from Deni Rovers Jamie Thorpe and Nick Hay have seen the pair rewarded with respective best and fairest titles.
Now the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is enshrined in law, many opponents of the controversial plan to return irrigation water to the environment appear to have lost interest.
More than 320 000 foxes and 1500 wild dogs had been eradicated under the bounty scheme in the past three years.
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