Now that we’re gradually re-opening our op shops after temporary COVID-19 closures, we thought it was the perfect time to shed light on the people who make it all possible – our wonderful volunteers.
Today, we’re excited to share with you the inspiring stories of three of our most dedicated helpers at our Op Shop Superstore in Adelaide’s Kidman Park, who so generously give their time to help animals.
Since our Kidman Park store recently resumed operations, with slightly modified trading hours, these three superstars have been right back there on the frontline doing what they love most – helping raise money for animals in need.
Julia, our pricing guru
When a family tragedy stopped Julia from being able to work her former full-time job, she made a spontaneous but purposeful decision – to help herself recover by helping animals.
“The most rewarding thing about donating for an animal cause is helping those that don’t have a voice,” she told us.
“We may all help in a small way, but it makes a big difference when we all work together – be it working at an op shop, walking a dog at Lonsdale or donating.”
Taking volunteering one step further, Julia has started to crochet again. She sells the blankets in our op shop superstore and also donates them to the homeless cats in our shelters. Awww.
“Even though I’m eight years away from retirement, that won’t stop me from volunteering here. If I can walk – I’ll be here!”
Paul, our shop jokester
Pop into our Kidman Park Op Shop and you’ll know Paul immediately – he’s the cheery retiree sorting donations while singing a classic rock tune!
Paul decided to volunteer in 2018, after walking past our soon-to-open superstore and spotting a sign calling for volunteers.
“I felt wanted and part of the team straight away. The shop staff mean the absolute world to me. We look after each other and I’m made to feel special every day. I just love it here,” he told us.
Family means the world to Paul (and, of course, he includes his Jack Russell, Evie, in his list of loved ones). With two close family members who are cancer survivors, Paul says he’s even more motivated to “give back” and “do something that means something”.
Michael, our chatterbox bookworm
He’s read well over 1,000 books, including every Sherlock Holmes novel ever written – so yes, Michael is more than qualified for his role as op shop book curator!
Sadly, Michael became unable to work due to a very serious accident in 2015. Robbed of both his taste and smell, Michael now also suffers severe vertigo and headaches.
Yet you’d never guess all that – Michael is full of life and loud laughter. He says, “I’ve never been treated as well in a workplace as I have here. It’s just an all-round fun place to work.”
He particularly loves seeing customers buy books he has put on display, with their purchases raising money for animals in need just like his own RSPCA rescue cat, Remmie.
Remmie came bursting into Michael’s life from our Lonsdale shelter, with a love of cardboard, pizza boxes and socks. Quite the character (much like her dad), Remmie has added a type of companionship to Michael’s world that he didn’t imagine possible. “I love her so much, she’s just the best,” he tells us.
We’re so lucky to have passionate people like Julia, Paul, and Michael helping us help animals.
Are you an animal lover with a little spare time and a lot of love to give? Make a difference and apply to volunteer at one of our op shops. Who knows, you might help save an animal who ends up saving you, too.