If you asked the volunteers at the St Vincent de Paul Society’s Shepparton op shop what brings them back every week, you would get a fairly similar response.JARROD WHITTAKER May 29, 2014 4:42am
Goodwill: St Vincent de Paul Shepparton op shop volunteers (back) Reece Nobels, David Gurney, Robert Smart, Alan Farrant, (front) Lorraine Blythe, Judith Roberts, Dorothy Blackmore, Bev Condon, Florence Burling and Jodie Thorn.
For many it is a sense of camaraderie and a desire to help others.
Its operation would rival some of Shepparton’s largest retailers.
The store has 120 volunteers on its books, of which about 70 are regulars.
They provide a wide range of services, from sorting through donations, retail services and clerical support.
Volunteer Loretta Grace began working at the store six years ago after she retired.
‘‘I used to work on the counter, then on the back parts in the sorting area and then progressed into the office,’’ Ms Grace said.
‘‘I love it, because I’m involved in the office.
‘‘Even though I’m in the office, we do get people coming to the counter looking for assistance.
‘‘So I get that as well, I’m able to refer them to the assistance centre.’’
She remembered one experience of providing support quite clearly.
‘‘I picked up another volunteer and we came in in my car,’’ Ms Grace said.
‘‘We pulled in the gate and there was a big black bag on the ground.’’
Thinking someone had dumped the bag, she asked the other volunteer to put it in the bin.
‘‘So he got out of the car and went over and he came back and said ‘The bag’s moving’,’’ Ms Grace said.
‘‘I went over and the bag was moving.
‘‘I looked over and there’s an elbow stuck out and there was a man asleep in the bag.’’
The man had used the bag for shelter while he waited for the store to open to seek help.
‘‘We brought him in and gave him a shower .
For some volunteers, working at the store provides an opportunity to catch up with friends for a laugh while doing some work.
For the past six years Lorraine Blythe, Judith Roberts, Dorothy Blackmore, Bev Condon, Florence Burling and Jodie Thorn have volunteered together several days a week.
Ms Blackmore said volunteering at the store provided companionship, while working for a good cause.
Ms Roberts, who looks after the bric-a-brac section, said there was always plenty to do.
‘‘You often work hard for two whole days and at the end it looks worse than when you started,’’ she joked.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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