The welcome mat is out and the smiles of the volunteer staff at Childers Vinnies are just that bit broader following the recent reopening of the refurbished store.
Vinnies, which plays a vital community role in supplying pre-loved items of clothing and furniture, went into lockdown in February as refurbishments and then the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll.
Stuart Roche, Executive Officer with Vinnies Queensland, said the refurbishment had been a protracted project for the Childers Vinnies store having been three years in planning and delivery.
“The building is heritage listed and this did cause a few bumps along the way but ultimately we have come up with a shop that is now the pride of Queensland Vinnies stores.
“We took the opportunity to revamp the building which has resulted in a great working space for our fantastic volunteers and a superb area to display product,” Stuart said.
“We demolished the old toilet block and the shelter area at the rear of the premises and used the additional space to build a Family Support Centre.
“While still subject to the requirements of social distancing, the Centre will hopefully be operating at full capacity soon.
“The Centre provides a private space with trained personnel meeting with community members who may be in need of assistance or counselling,” he said.
“We did have a blessing of the building last weekend which was undertaken by local priest Father Sunny Mathew.”
Stuart said that while the lockdown had affected the normal scope of the charitable work of Vinnies in Childers, emergency support was still provided at a temporary location in the town area.
He said communities across Queensland will notice the absence of the large blue donations bins that were utilised by Vinnies in the collection of donated goods.
“I guess COVID-19 did provide the opportunity for us to discuss and determine the future of these collection bins.
“While there are so many generous people who gave wonderful donations, unfortunately there was becoming an increasing incidence of people using the bins as garbage disposal areas.
“We have removed the bins across the State and we now invite people to approach our volunteers instore regarding their donations,” Stuart said.
“Having people come and meet our volunteers when making donations of goods or money provides the opportunity for a face-to-face thank you.”
The Childers Vinnies store is located in the main street area opposite the Isis District RSL.
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