More than an Op-Shop. How Anglicare Victoria’s ‘Treasure Chest Op Shop’ makes a real difference for the local community.

Since 2004, Anglicare Victoria’s ‘Treasure Chest Op-Shop’ in Lilydale has provided a real treasure trove of second hand items, including clothing, furniture, toys, crockery and a range of miscellaneous items, all carefully sorted and displayed.

Lesley Conway has been the Team Leader of the Op-Shop since Anglicare Victoria took over in 2004 and says it’s the dedicated volunteers that are the lifeblood of op shops and that without their contribution, op shops could not function as they do.

“The volunteers have a huge impact. There would be no shop, no warehouse, and no local connection to the community without them.”

“They are all quite passionate and no matter what they each do, as a team, great things happen and the op-shop has improved in every facet over the years,” she says.

A typical day involves a great deal of physical effort. The jobs are endless, however the results are rewarding. From unpacking donations of books, crockery or clothing, checking jig saw puzzles to make sure all the pieces are there, to cleaning the shop, serving customers, pricing items or hanging clothes – no day is the same.

As well as focusing on the day to day tasks, the Op-Shop has a wider impact for the local community, with each sale making an important contribution.

Proceeds from the op-shop are about to hit the significant milestone of $2 million and each dollar raised from items bought supports local programs run by Anglicare Victoria, including Peaceful Warriors, a ten week program which provides mentorship for “at risk” boys aged 9 to 12 years old.Lesley knows that each day, with her team of volunteers they are all contributing to creating positive impacts in the local community in many ways.

“Firstly, we provide much needed funds to support important Anglicare Victoria programs. Secondly, we offer good quality, low cost items for customers and thirdly we provide an opportunity for volunteering, where people can share their time and skills, as well as interact and be connected with the local community.”

According to Lesley, the Treasure Chest would be nowhere near what it is today without the “continuity, drive and vision” of three passionate volunteers in particular. Denise, Heather and Waltraut who, with the help of their husbands on occasion, have volunteered since before Anglicare Victoria took over the op-shop.

For Lesley, it’s their dedication and hard work every day which is inspiring to witness.

“For me personally, it is very inspiring to see the volunteers utilise their individual skills and experiences. This gives us a great breadth across the many details of running a business,” she says.

Treasure Chest welcomes any good quality donations of clothes, household goods, sporting goods and furniture or whitegoods.

To donate, or enquire about volunteering, phone Lesley on 9735 4567.

You can also find the op-shop on Facebook.

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