Kids Op Shop – Lynne Farrar

The Kids Op Shop (KOS) turns 5 this year.
As an outreach of Anglican Church Robina its main goal is to

“build connections and relationships in the community
through customers, donors and volunteers”.

Staffed by a team of 33 volunteers (angels!) the op shop operates to provide laundered
quality children’s clothing, books and toys at very reasonable prices.

Customers regularly comment on what a happy shopping experience it is for them as the shop is well organised, always clean, prices are affordable, and staff are welcoming and friendly. Following one of the lockdowns in 2021, a customer, with tears in her eyes, was heard to say,

“this shop should be an essential service.
I can’t afford to shop for my children anywhere else.”

Volunteers enjoy camaraderie and have fun in the ‘engine room’. We have supported each other through the pandemic when circumstances have been difficult and travel to visit family and new grandchildren prohibited.

Volunteer roles include:

  • drivers who collect and distribute donations
  • sorters
  • washing warriors who wash clothes at home and return fresh smelling items. (Customers often remark that the shop doesn’t smell like an op shop!
  • checking toys by testing batteries (often done at home by our band of battery checkers)
  • making puzzles to ensure all pieces are included
  • ironing
  • shop display
  • customer service
  • book corner maintenance
  • and much more!

Special mention must be made of the late Alan Mayer, one of our original volunteers. Alan played a significant role and his contribution to the Op Shop was invaluable. He was an inspiration to all who worked with him during the last year of his life, when, despite his progressive paralysis, he attended the shop regularly and kept us all on our toes!

We have provided opportunities for school students to undertake community service, and students from Mudgeeraba and Merrimac Special Schools have gained work experience through weekly visits to the shop.

Our links to the community are many and varied. BabyGiveBack (BGB) very generously donates their excess baby clothing, toys etc to us. Through Bowen and Trinity Family Support Network we work closely with BGB to assist vulnerable families. We donate to LJ’s Mamas Helping Mamas who in turn provide support to foster parents on the Gold Coast. In addition, foster parents receive a 50% discount on purchases in the Op Shop.

Our most recent link has been with Purple Hearts who support families experiencing domestic violence. Our weekly supply of clothing to them has been a much-needed help as the incidence of domestic violence has increased significantly during Covid.

Pregnancy and Family Support are blessed by the provision of clothing for specific needs they identify eg premature babies, twins, very young mothers with no support. Animal rescue volunteers are well supplied with various items to aid their mission. Weekly donations are sent to Navarro Enterprises who supply to various countries overseas. We have recently supplied toys, books, games etc to a group establishing a child care centre in the Northern Territory. Through one of our parishioners, clothing was donated to an orphanage in Sri Lank.

Proceeds from our Easter raffle this year will go to the Anglicare Flood Appeal.

The love of Christ is shared far and wide through the Op Shop! We are grateful for all who serve and for all who donate goods so our work can flourish. Thank you.

Lynne Farrar