‘Numbers critically low’: Merimbula Salvos forced to limit trading hours

Help needed: Merimbula Salvation Army Family Store managers Carole Davis and Sue Davidson hold up a large sign placed outside the store calling for more volunteers.
Help needed: Merimbula Salvation Army Family Store managers Carole Davis and Sue Davidson hold up a large sign placed outside the store calling for more volunteers.

For the first time ever the Merimbula Salvation Army Family Store has had to cut its opening hours. 

The Merimbula Salvos has experienced a steady downturn in volunteers and this coupled with a short supply of work for the dole participants has the store in dire straits, according to managers Sue Davidson and Carole Davis. 

Ms Davidson and Ms Davis have contacted previous volunteers, canvassed customers and the local community, and advertised outside the store and yet their volunteer numbers have still reached a critical low. 

Because of this they have been forced to limit the amount of donations they can accept on a day to day basis and shop opening hours have been cut from 9am - 4pm to 10am - 3:30pm. 

“We usually have around 40 volunteers on our books but this has dropped drastically, some days we are down to just one volunteer which means we have to close the door,” Ms Davidson said. 

“We’ve had people retire, some are on holiday, some are unwell but we haven’t had new volunteers join.”

Ms Davidson and Ms Davis are now calling for anyone who has ever considered giving back to the community to come and give volunteering at the Salvos a try. 

“We can’t sort, price, clean, dispose of rubbish and attend to customers on our own, we need extra hands,” Ms Davis said. 

The managers are hoping to attract younger volunteers, like mums or strong men, but said anyone with some time to spare would be welcomed with open arms. 

“We have lots of jobs, even older people can help sort craft or price items,” Ms Davidson said. 

“Our volunteers become like a family and we don’t mind if you can help every day or even once a month, any help will make a difference,” Ms Davis said.

But the Merimbula Salvos store isn’t the only volunteer Op Shop in needs of helping hands. The Bimbimbie Auxiliary Op Shop, run by the Bimbimbie Retirement Village Auxiliary, has also put a call out for volunteers. 

To help the Merimbula Salvos simply talk to the staff in store and for more on the Bimbimbie Op Shop see our community notices.