With doors still open, this op shop needs you

HELPING HAND: Narelle Tompkins, Heather Lang, Pam Green and Donna Ross at the shop.
HELPING HAND: Narelle Tompkins, Heather Lang, Pam Green and Donna Ross at the shop. Jacob Carson

THE shuttering of the Jake Garrett Foundation was seen by many as a blow to the community, especially considering the vital services it provided.

The announcement last month threw the future of the op shop run by the foundation at Goldfields Plaza into question.

Thankfully, the store and the service it provides to the community has been given a reprieve with new ownership, but they still need Gympie locals to back them up.

"Our gratitude goes to the Jake Garrett Foundation for donating the left-over stock and for the great job their band of dedicated volunteers gave,” Lions Club of Gympie president Narelle Tompkins said.

"Their efforts in supporting grieving families at the worst time of their lives must have been very difficult given their own tragic circumstances.”

Great efforts have been undertaken to keep the shop looking and running largely as it did under the foundation.

Critically, said club member Donna Ross, a number of volunteers have agreed to stay on and staff the store.

"That goes a long way in getting people to come back,” she said.

"It's still the same shop, the same people, it's just not the foundation running it any more.”

Still, she added, the ongoing support of local customers was essential to the ongoing survival of the store.

The change in ownership means the store will now have to pay rent to the centre.

"We just want to say we're grateful to Vicinity (the owners of Goldfields) for allowing us to stay here,” Ms Ross said.

"The support the store gives to people can't be understated.

"Everything that goes into the store goes right back into helping the community here.”

The Op Shop is open Monday to Friday.

Topics:  gympie lions jake garrett foundation op shop

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