Businesses of Banyule presents Macleod Op Shop
A little goes a long way at Macleod Op Shop!
Over 6 years ago Diamond Valley Community Support (DVCS) opened the Macleod Op Shop for the purpose of raising funds to support disadvantaged and vulnerable people.
Today the Op Shop is a welcoming and vibrant hub of community activity and a must see for Op Shop lovers and anyone visiting the Macleod Village Shopping strip.
Over 30 dedicated volunteers operate the shop which stocks a variety of quality clothing, household items, jewellery, books and toys. Since opening in 2012 the shop has raised over $340,000 for Emergency Relief and Education Assistance Programs for the Banyule community. Watsonia resident Carmel Crane has been volunteering there for five years.
“When you sit down and look at it, there are quite a few people in financial distress which I found really surprising” says Carmel, who’s retired from a career with the Australian Taxation Office. “Because the area seems affluent, but when you scratch the surface there are quite a few people struggling, especially single parents. It’s great to know that our work helps those doing it tough.”
People requiring assistance can visit DVCS and access food parcels, supermarket vouchers, fuel cards and assistance for prescription medication. Referrals for clothing and household goods which can be obtained free of charge at the Macleod Op Shop are also available if required.
“People are so appreciative for this help, and I think going in and asking for assistance is a big step for them. It is so important that people know DVCS is there and what support is available. “
The shop has the most wonderful window displays each week, often reflecting a theme whether it be Mother’s and Father’s Day, Anzac Day, the Spring Racing Carnival, or Christmas and New Year season.
“There are some great bargains” says Carmel. “We’ve had brides to be purchase their wedding dress from the Op Shop. We’ve also seen many keen Spring Carnival racegoers buy their race day outfits and fascinators from the Op Shop; there really is a wonderful variety available.”
The shop window displays are rotated every week according to events or trends in the local community. Recently there was a focus on Debutantes and School Formals.
“Deb season can be an expensive time of year for young people” says Carmel. “So we had a range of donated formal dresses which sold for around $20. We keep our prices low because we want to help people and encourage them to come back.”
Proceeds from the Op Shop also support low income parents struggling to pay education costs. Whether its money to buy text books or fund a child to go on school camp, DVCS provides financial assistance so that children don’t miss out on important education opportunities.
The local community has really embraced the Op Shop and this is reflected in the quantity and quality of donations received and the many customers that visit each day.
“But we always need more donations – whether it be household goods or clothing, shoes, handbags and other accessories. Unfortunately we don’t have room for furniture so we re-direct those items to the Salvos or the Red Cross.”
Carmel says she won’t be leaving any time soon.
“It’s just a wonderful community. Everyone’s always up for a chat. We have the parks, the schools, the shops, everyone stops in to say hello and there’s always something going on.”
The DVCS Macleod Op Shop is located at 44 Aberdeen Road Macleod and is open Monday to Friday 9:30am – 4:30pm and Saturday 9:30am – 1:00pm.
03 9435 8282