Community op shop raises nearly $200,000 for community sponsorships and donations

Daniel HockingManjimup-Bridgetown Times
The Manjimup Community Op Shop has donated more than $185,000 in sponsorships for community groups and programs.
Camera IconThe Manjimup Community Op Shop has donated more than $185,000 in sponsorships for community groups and programs. Credit: Daniel Hocking

A community op shop in Manjimup has donated nearly $200,000 in sponsorships for the community since its fundraising began in early 2020.

The Manjimup Community Op Shop has raised a total of $187,773 for sponsorships to community programs and organisations from their sales of donated goods from the Manjimup community. It started the donations in February 2020.

Community Op Shop committee president Chrissy Hillcoat said the donating has helped many kinds of organisations or projects in the Manjimup area, with the committee providing an application service for groups that are in need of funding.

“We’ve done many sponsorships using the money including medical, social, schools, community projects,” she said.

“We’ve got a pool of money, organisations make an application and apply, we have a monthly meeting, and we give however much we give them.

“They have to give an acquittal and clarify what the money is for and how they have used it.”

Committee secretary Anita Edwards said the plan to donate money and help sponsor groups was ongoing and continues to be funded by the sales of clothing and item donations brought to the shop.

“The plan is ongoing and to help the community,” she said.

“We have the community donate items to the shop, which we sell on behalf of the community.”

Both Ms Edwards and Ms Hillcoat said the donations and sponsorships had been planned from the beginning as a way to give back to the community, who said had generously helped them throughout the establishment of the op shop.

“It was a goal from the beginning,” Ms Edwards said.

“It was a group of seven ladies that got together and said ‘what can we do?’” Ms Hillcoat said.

“We were all retired, we had time on our hands and the landlord has been incredibly helpful and been fabulous.

“He’s helped us financially and everybody’s helped in the community, labour, donations, fire brigade setting the requirements needed in the building, electricians, all people have donated their services.

“Everybody’s been so generous, the whole town, it’s very much the town’s shop.”

The shop’s community collaborations also consist of the creation of the shop’s logo, with Manjimup Senior High School students helping design it, as well as the progress board of the money donated, with the board being painted and donated by local artist Paula Benson and modifications done by the local Men’s Shed.

The shop recently had a break-in with damage done to a portion of the building, although the women said nothing was stolen.

However, they expressed their disappointment in the attempted break-in and theft, noting it was only going to hurt the community in the end.

“I was disappointed.” Ms Edwards said.

“We were angry at the futility of it,” Ms Hillcoat said.

“They’re really pinching from themselves because the money we collect is for the community and for the town and outer districts.

“The community donates for the community and we deal with it and disperse it to the community.

“Somebody had the audacity to believe that they could take some, which is really silly and low.”

The break-in has not stopped the shop from continuing their efforts, continuing to raise money for groups who need funding.

“We are very appreciative of the community and we wouldn’t be here without them,” Ms Edwards said.

“We are self-sufficient, we pay all of our own bills, we are 100 per cent volunteer run and not being paid,” Ms Hillcoat said.

“People think we need praise, but they need praise as well.”

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