Red Cross Shop staff share joys of volunteering

Red Cross Shop Manager Jo Gordon, Annette, Penny, Lee and Sue.

AS part of National Volunteer Week (15-21 May), News Of The Area is highlighting some of the incredible volunteers that make Port Stephens so special.

One local hub for volunteers is the Red Cross Shop on Stockton Street, Nelson Bay.

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“To celebrate Volunteer Week it gives me great pleasure to talk about the wonderful work our volunteers at Nelson Bay Red Cross bring to the shop each and every week,” Red Cross Manager Jo Gordon said.

“Whether it’s for four hours a week or fourteen, every one of them comes in with a smile and a spring in their step ready to make the shop a brighter place.”

This week Jo reached out to her volunteer staff and asked why they chose to donate their time with the Red Cross Shop.

Volunteer Lee left paid work around six and a half years ago, before realising she missed the connection and social outlet that employment provided.

“I wanted to give back to the wonderful community I’d been part of for so long so I chose the Red Cross after looking into the amazing humanitarian roles it takes on for people in need,” Lee said.

“The location in Nelson bay is perfect to meet a huge range of people.”

Annette has been with the Red Cross for four years and loves meeting the tourists who come in from all over the world.

“She started working here when the store first opened as she loved the look of what was going on in the shop,” Jo said.

Annette has made some beautiful friends through her volunteer role and said the regulars in the shop keep her laughing with their stories.

Another volunteer, Cathy, said, “Having spare time to give as I only work part time, Red Cross was the ideal place for me.

“I knew some of the volunteers already but have now met others and enjoy every shift I have worked.

“I love the happy atmosphere and especially how the customers react to the shop and all the volunteers.

“I get great job satisfaction as you can feel you are making a positive difference.”

New volunteer Louise did her first volunteer shift with the Red Cross Shop last week.

“As a new volunteer I enjoyed the morning, meeting and talking with the clients is to me what volunteering is all about.

“l am really looking forward to my next shift.”

Red Cross Shop Nelson Bay is constantly seeking more volunteers to join the team.

“We are always looking for new volunteers and invite men and women from all walks of life to come and see what it’s all about,” Jo said.

“Come into the store and we can set you up.”

Jo also wished to remind the community that the Red Cross Shop is always on the hunt for quality donations of clothing (both men’s and women’s), handbags, scarves, jewellery, shoes and books.

“We have a donation bin at the storefront or one of our wonderful staff can help you unload your car by calling 0412461019,” Jo said.

“All monies raised from these sales are returned back into communities for a range of humanitarian relief such as crisis assistance during natural disasters, war, famines etc.

“It allows for the Red Cross to support homeless and isolated people but it also supports a tonne of other networks to assist all those in need.

“It’s an amazing organisation to be part of and we truly thank every single volunteer for their support and contribution to keep us operating,” Jo said.

Red Cross Shop Manager Jo Gordon and volunteer Lynnie.

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