Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Helping Hands Mission Op Shop - Everything including the kitchen sink!!

Huge thanks to Melanie from Helping Hands Mission for sharing with me a little about the Helping Hands Mission Op Shop Clearance Centre.

Can you tell us a little about The Helping Hands Mission?

"Helping Hands Mission Inc. is a Victorian based not-for-profit organisation that provides emergency support to families and individuals who are suffering as a result of extreme circumstance. We recognise that everyone needs a helping hand at some time.  Through the distribution of emergency and material support, we work to provide some relief to families when times are tough.

In April 2011, we opened the Helping Hands Mission Op Shop Clearance Centre - a community resource providing access to great quality clothing, shoes, toys, furniture and household items.  Funds raised through the Clearance Centre support the ongoing work of Helping Hands Mission Inc."

lovely looking glassware!

Can you tell us a little about what the op shop funds help to do?

"I would love to give you a bit of insight into what the Op Shop Clearance Centre has been able to achieve.  Since opening early last year, we have been able to raise over $30,000 to support families in need and I have to admit that we have had a blast doing it. 

We already ran an Op Shop in North Essendon, but our goals for the Clearance Centre were a little different.  We wanted to create a place where everybody could afford to come and so for that reason, all of our clothes are priced at $2 and under and we are very proud of the fact that we work with a number of local agencies who have access to our stock at no cost."

Great selection and looks really well presented

Stuff of op shop dreams!!

I then asked a few questions about the volunteers and shoppers

"Each day is an adventure, made possible by our wonderful customers, our amazing volunteers and of course the very generous donations that come through the front door and make the whole thing possible.  We are constantly amazed by what people give us and the stories that accompany the donations, little knick-knacks that have meant something, outfits from a special occasion and of course all of the things you come across when you start cleaning our your cupboards - we even received our first kitchen sink not so long ago so we really do have it all..."

I love it!  Everything including the kitchen sink!!

"Our volunteers are a special group of people who work hard to make our little shop a success.  They understand that for some people in our community, shopping in an Op Shop is not a choice but a necessity - they have made our shop beautiful and in doing that, they help bring dignity to the many people who rely on the Centre to make ends meet.  They also know that some of our customers are die-hard Op Shoppers who are always on the look out for a bargain - these people (especially our regulars) can leave their details at the front desk and if the special item they are looking for comes in we will always give them a call."

I personally love the fact people can do this, does anyone else's local op shop offer to do this I wonder?  

We had one like this as children growing up - I remember the danger and excitement at the slightest hint of a fondue!
When asked what is the hardest thing about running an Op Shop...

"It is a tricky one to answer.  For us it is an issue of space - when the donations just keep coming (especially after the Christmas clean out time) it is hard to work out how to fit everything in.  The other hard bit is letting people know that you exist - we do not have a huge marketing budget and pretty much rely on word of mouth - hoping that if people love our shop as much as we do they will tell their friends.  We have also started on Facebook so again appreciate your support in helping spread the word."

Honoured to! - Please have a look at their Facebook page here and spread the word for this fantastic place

Here are the addresses for the two shops
Helping Hands Mission Op Shop, 130 Keilor Road, North Essendon
Helping Hands Mission Op Shop Clearance Centre. Address: 18 Knighton Avenue, Airport West

Beautiful china - I'm a bit of a fan though!
very cute!
Bargain Books too!
I'm going to have to attempt to make it to at least one of these centres I think!

Thanks again Melanie for sharing news about your op shop, It looks fantastic.


  1. Great Blog.. Best Op Shop Ever!!

  2. I am in love with op-shopping and have been for years. Its so nice to be able to help out charities and pick up something nice for myself!