VINNIES and local op shops have begun the process of re-opening, and are now operating under adjusted hours, and with special restrictions in place, based on Government and health recommendations.
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Kim Boyd, Vinnies Regional Retail Manager North-East, said that they were excited to be re-opening their shops across NSW – including Tea Gardens – with their Medowie location still under assessment.
“We are taking a measured response to re-opening our shops based on a number of factors, including the age of our volunteers and the number of reported cases in a location.
“If volunteers are at a higher risk of contracting the virus we ask that they prioritise their health and step away until it is safe to return.
“The initial response we’ve had from volunteers has been very positive and volunteers are glad to be coming back to work and helping out their local communities.”
In terms of donations, Ms Boyd said they were heartened to see the response from people eager to donate to their shops.
“People can donate items through their local Vinnies Charity Bin; if the bin is full we ask that people hold onto their items until shops re-open and not dump goods outside the shop front,” she said.
“Vinnies welcome donations of good quality clean clothing and household items.
“Please do not drop off soiled or damaged goods that have to be sent to the landfill at our expense.
“If you wouldn’t give something to family or friends, please don’t give it to Vinnies.”
Donations will be isolated for 48 hours before they are placed into sorting and sale, and all volunteers are equipped with PPE including gloves and hand sanitiser for their safety.
Vinnies have asked that customers adhere to social distancing measures, and to help maintain this, will be placing limits on patrons entering the stores at any one time, in addition to the dressing rooms remaining out of action.
Other local op shops, including the ones located at Bulahdelah and Tea Gardens Anglican Church, will remain closed until further notice.
By Ashley CHRYSLER