Shop designed around giving back looking for more volunteers
HERVEY Bay's Bay Op Shop, the brainchild of Carolyn McIntyre, came from almost two decades of "little incidents, conversations with friends and funding shortfalls".
The second-hand store, located on Beach Rd, first opened its doors in September last year with a doctrine to give back to the community.
As well as the long list of organisations the op shop supports through donations or opportunities, it is also helping local job seekers gain references for work.
"Our volunteers do everything from A to Z in the shop," Ms McIntyre said.
"They do cleaning, learn the till and the sorting out the back.
"We have a chat about what kind of reference they are after like full-time retail, part time or casual.
"For example if they want a full-time reference they would have to volunteer the equivalent to full-time hours for me to be able to see them working.
"But if they want a casual or part time - they just come in when they can, around their appointments and do things within their capabilities.
"Nobody comes in with a program from me, it's all what they would like to undertake themselves."
Currently, the store has nine volunteers but could always use some more.
"If you would like to come in and be involved, I prefer to meet people face to face so they can see me and the store," she said.
"We have a volunteers' form but there is no obligation at all.
"There are no requirements to volunteer, everything is easy and there is not heavy lifting involved," Ms McIntyre said.
"I am so grateful for our volunteers, they do it out of the goodness of their heart. Every one of our volunteers is extremely special.
"They put in long hours and their heart and soul into what they do."
Ms McIntrye made connections with different charity organisations from her work as a nurse in Sydney and when she moved to Hervey Bay she decided to design a business centred around giving back to those same organisations which were active in our seaside community.