FROM little things big things grow.
That could be the motto of Glen Innes’ opportunity shop, which in the 12 months to July this year raised a whopping $103,000, all of which was donated to local causes.
Op-shop committee president Jill Newberry agrees it’s an astonishing total for a business whose bread and butter are items costing as little as a few dollars.
“We are very proud of what we’ve achieved and each year the total just keeps going up,” she said.
This year’s six-figure total is a new record for the committee, climbing from about $83,000 the year before.
The op-shop has a proud history in the town, having its beginnings in a tearoom that was opened in 1915 to raise funds for overseas soldiers.
It evolved into the op-shop in the 1940s and has had several changes of location as it continued to grow, and is now located in Lang St and has 40 volunteers.
Mrs Newberry said they had 40 volunteers, working on average a shift a week, and they ranged in age from 50 all the way up to 90.
She said the shop sold “everything” from “hankies to wedding gowns”.
One of the volunteers makes potholders that are sold for $1, estimating she’s made more than 2500 over the years.
Mrs Newberry said they had an extensive bridale and formal wear section, one of the local bridal stores even donating 37 new wedding and formal dresses recently.
This year’s donations went to the likes of the Tamworth-based Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service ($12,000) and the Glen Innes Hospital auxilliary ($20,000).
Mrs Newberry said $15,000 of this $20,000 was for the continued replacement of old beds with electric ones, $2500 for airconditioning in the palliative care ward and the same amount to help prepare a funding submission for a helipad for the hospital.
The Glen Innes High School benefits each year, too, with a $6000 donation for tertiary and bursary scholarships.
“Our volunteers are so dedicated to what they do and take it very seriously,” Mrs Newberry said.
“The fact all the money we raise helps our local community makes it all worthwhile.”