A big shout out to our steadfast supporters on the NSW mid-north coast. In the scenic coastal township of South West Rocks, the Uniting Church Op Shop is a hub of sharing and caring where wonderful pre-loved goods are bought for modest prices, with all proceeds going to good causes. Our Major Gifts Officer, Dan McAloon, just returned from giving a Frontier Services talk on the patrol ministry and Outback Links at a luncheon of 70 people hosted by South West Rocks Uniting Church, which also founded and manages the shop.
Frontier Services is not the only recipient of the shop’s brisk business. Perfectly positioned in the village retail precinct, it is staffed entirely by volunteers, not just from the Uniting Church but community groups including Marine Rescue, the Macleay Valley Eagles FC, Catholic Ladies Fellowship and The Croquet Club.
With customers comprising locals looking for a bargain and seasonal holiday makers seeking some necessity for their stay like coffee mugs, cutlery or an all-important sunhat, the Op Shop has a big window display full of shining glass and gleaming silverware able to entice inside those who, up until that moment, did not realise their lives were incomplete without that certain object d’art.
“We have our regulars who call in to see us every day,” says Jenny Sutton, who with her husband Alan, do shifts in the shop. “It’s a lovely routine because if they didn’t come in we’d be concerned for them and send someone to look in on how they are.” With donated bric-a-brac isn’t there a danger of landing the white elephant you can’t give away?
Jenny laughs, “You would be surprised what sells. Just when an item arrives that is so unique you can’t believe it’ll ever find a buyer, you’re confounded by the customer who comes in and just has to have it! It’s been like a magnet they couldn’t resist, they’ll tell you.”
Even as our ministry and others benefits from the generosity of those contribute their time and money in the South West Rocks Op Shop, we recognise that this shop performs another essential role in the life of this town. To those who seek it, this Op Shop says, “We are community – Come On In.” And they do!