At your local Anglicare Op Shop you’ll find quality goods and bargains galore. But you’ll also find so much more. You’ll find community.
As you walk through the doors of your local Anglicare Op Shop, colourful clothes and items rush to greet you. And so do the people.
Immediately you notice the store is buzzing with a sense of community. It's the kind that only exists in a space where everyone is welcome to drop in… and drop in they do.
In each Anglicare Op Shop you will find an amazing range of good quality recycled clothing. There are treasures for everyone here and they know it. From the retired Vogue model who is a regular, to a gentleman sleeping rough. Or the young migrant family, new to the country and needing help.
These are a few of the people Olga meets in a day’s work as the manager of the bustling Anglicare Op Shop in Hornsby. If you’re lucky, you might catch her, as we did, in a ‘jazz mood’, pressing play on a crowd-pleasing Louis Armstrong playlist.
“People tell me they’ll come to the store just for the music!” she laughs.
Olga’s care for her Op Shop community radiates as she speaks… and it’s clear why. At a time when she needed connection and support in her own life, the local op shop was there.
Olga came to Australia 10 years ago. She had a Masters’ degree in economics, and left behind a stable career as a personal shopper. She didn’t speak any English
“I was over 30 years old, and I started from scratch,” she recalls. “And the first place I went to? It was an opshop.
“I began to learn some English and I was trying to find myself. I learned how to express myself and I found out about the community. And being new to the country, it was a great place to be in because it was so supportive.
People gave me the help I was reaching out for.”
Olga knows that this is the power of your local Anglicare Op Shop. It’s a welcoming space in the heart of the community. The first port of call when someone is struggling.
For some, help might mean a listening ear. For others it can mean connecting with community services that provide specific, ongoing support. The staff at your local Anglicare Op Shop can help you do both.
“My love for Jesus means I love to help others,” says Olga. “This is how I share that love.”
This deep connection between faith and service is something that Emma, one of the young volunteers Olga works with, echoes.
“A big part of Christianity is serving others,” Emma says. “That’s what Jesus came to do, so I believe that’s what we are meant to do too.”
Emma was looking for her first job when she heard Olga share about Hornsby Anglicare Op Shop one Sunday at church. She decided to volunteer to get some work experience… and got a whole lot more than she bargained for!
“All the people that work here are just so lovely,” she says. “And you get pretty cool recycled clothes as well. It’s just a good vibe. Good energy.”
Like Olga, Emma loves meeting new people who come into the store. She loves the way conversation has drawn her into this amazing community.
But best of all, she says, is that Anglicare Op Shops are a practical outworking of our Christian faith.
“It’s like a whole community coming together,” she explains. “Because the people that donate are helping, and the people that are buying are helping, and the people that are working are helping. And I think with Christianity, that’s the end goal. I love God by serving others.”
Emma also loves that this way of serving others allows her to steward God’s creation, too. Raised on David Attenborough documentaries, Emma is passionate about sustainability.
“Buying second hand is better,” she says. “When you buy from an Anglicare Op Shop, you can go home and be proud that you bought something that’s better for the environment. And something that’s also helping people.
So there you have it folks. Not only does choosing to buy from your local Anglicare Op Shop benefit your wallet… it’s also a loving action that blesses your community and cares for our planet.
What’s not to love?! So why not visit an Anglicare Op Shop today? You’re bound to find what you’re looking for. And maybe, like Olga and Emma, you might just discover even more than you bargained for…
There are 25 Anglicare Op Shops across Sydney and the Illawarra - click here to find your local!