Open opportunities to shop or volunteer

OPPORTUNITY stores on the Mornington Peninsula need shoppers to rediscover the benefits of bargain hunting and volunteers to come back on board to help.

Fusion’s Thrift Operations Store and the RSPCA’s Mornington Operations Store have both seen a dramatic decline in trade and volunteers in recent times, affecting the amount of funds raised for the services they provide to the community.

Fusion is a community and youth organization based in Mount Martha that provides a housing service and runs several programs to help socially at risk young people in Australia.

Its operating store on Progress Street has struggled to maintain volunteer numbers since COVID, and manager Caitlin Swanton said shoppers have been reluctant to resume shopping.

“It’s been a whole combination of everything, including COVID, and we opened right in the middle of the pandemic, in 2021, so we haven’t really seen what a ‘normal’ summer should be like here,” said said Ms Swanton.

“During this short time, we have experienced a shortage of volunteers, community hesitation, staffing difficulties and blockages,” she said.

“So we’d like to say to the community, come back and have a great deal, because we have some amazing things here, and to the volunteers, I would say, come and experience the benefits of being back in the community and being fun, friendly environment.”

The RSPCA operating store in Tyabb-Mornington Road is experiencing a similar lack of volunteers and a downturn in trade.

Store manager Jo McKenzie said the RSPCA relies heavily on donations to pay for its animal welfare programs and provide services to animals in need through its shelters and inspections.

In addition to repatriating neglected and unwanted animals and educating the community about responsible pet ownership, the organization works with all levels of government and industries to advocate for good animal welfare practices. animal.

Ms McKenzie said volunteering was a fun way to make friends, be among people and give back to the community, as well as animals.

“We have some wonderful things here in our store, including high-end, low-priced linens from a regular supplier, designer clothes, bric-a-brac, and more, and it’s all at a great price. “, she said.

“We would like to see more people shopping and although our volunteers are great people, we definitely need more.

“We can’t do what we do without them.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – March 1, 2022

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