What Goes on at Vinnies

Vinnies Shops take many moving parts to run. It all starts in the back, with Pat and his colleagues in logistics. Pat has been involved since the late 1990s in Vinnies Shops, driving the truck to pick up donations in Armidale. His work involved driving the truck to pick up donations from the charity bins.

Having worked at a bank for a time, he did book-keeping with the shop and Freeman House to support Vinnies locally.

The donations picked up by Pat are sorted by someone like Lesley who sorts and prices donations.

Lesley has worked with the Society since 2009, she says she enjoys the different side of volunteering and seeing the high quality products that come in as donations.

“I’ve even had school friends who come in and that’s all they buy now, they used to buy really expensive clothes, but now they come shop at Vinnies once a week,” says Lesley.

“Once the word’s out, people come and have a look. People’s perceptions about what the Vinnies shops are all about has changed.”

At the front of the store helping the customers are volunteers like Lenore and Maria.

Lenore has been a volunteer for more than 25 years so has seen the change in technology, “We were using cash registers, there was no EFTPOS.”

She has had no trouble adapting to changes, however, and notes, “An enormous improvement in the shop, in the layout and the quality in the way everything is presented.”

Maria says she recalls some interesting stories, “After the sorting I was working around the front on the till and there was a volunteer who was using a walking stick, but she didn’t use it in the shop. One day somebody came, and we sold it!

“When she finished work, she was looking for it, we said, ‘Oh gosh, we sold it!’

“Luckily there was another in the shop and we gave it to her.”

People like Pat, Lesley, Lenore, and Maria are among the many passionate volunteers who have kept the Vinnies Shops running this long. This year we are celebrating 100 years of Vinnies Shops with our centenary events in stores.

Visit participating Vinnies Shops from 24 October to 6 November to find the golden tagged treasure items. Every transaction made at a Vinnies NSW Shop during this period will be eligible to go in the draw to win one of several big-ticket items, simply scan the QR code at the Vinnies NSW Shop point of sale once you’ve made a purchase.

Find out more at: www.vinnies.org.au/100years