Helping Hands Mission Inc. raises funds for our Emergency and Material Aid programs via the sales in our op shops - we do not rely on government funding. If you would like to support our charity please click the 'Donate' button below. Thank you!
COVID-19 UPDATE - FRIDAY 10TH JULY 2020
Today’s announcement of 288 new COVID-19 cases is a devastating blow to Victoria.
As an organisation we have a duty of care to protect not only the staff and volunteers who run this charity, but also those who visit our sites to donate and to attend the Community Pantry. While our shops have all closed, there are still many people at our Sunshine and Airport West site each day, exposing each other and our team to more human contact as well as contact through donated items and boxes and bags. As a result, today we have made the decision to temporarily stop accepting donations at our sites, effective immediately.
We have also made the difficult decision to close the Community Pantries for two weeks, with the last client being seen on Friday the 17th of July. All pantry clients who are already booked in for appointments after this date will be contacted over the next few days to reschedule, and we will be fitting in extra appointments next week for these clients to ensure they have plenty of food before we close.
As you can tell from our previous posts this week, this decision is certainly not one we thought we would be making today, and not one we have made lightly. In the past five or so months since this pandemic really took hold in Australia, we have kept our pantry doors open the whole way through and worked really hard to do so. This week we have had many calls from clients telling us they are not comfortable leaving their homes even to come to the Pantry and we know that most of them will understand why we’ve had to make this choice. We will take this day by day and watch what happens with the case numbers over the next two weeks, and as always we will post any updates to this page and our website.
This has been a really hard call to make as we know how important the Pantry has been during COVID-19, but we know now we have a greater responsibility to do our part for the community and our Helping Hands family and ensure our two sites are not places where people can be exposed to, or pass on, the virus.
*Update as of Tuesday 7th July 2020 - all Helping Hands Mission op shops are temporarily closed due to today's lockdown announcement. Community Pantries remain open.*
*Update as of Wednesday 1st July 2020 - our Fullarton Road and Knighton Avenue (Gaye's Vintage) op shops will be temporarily closed as of Thursday 2nd July due to the suburb lockdowns.*
*Update as of Friday 12th June 2020 - our Preston (Oakover Road) op shop will be reopening on Monday, 15th June. The store will be open from 9.30am - 4pm, Monday - Friday).*
*Update as of Friday 29th May 2020 - our Knighton Avenue (Gaye's Vintage) op shop will be reopening on Monday, 1st June. The store will operate the same hours as our Fullarton Road store (10am - 4pm, Monday - Friday).*
*Update as of Thursday 14th May 2020 - our Sunshine (Hampshire Road) op shop will be reopening on Monday, 18th May. The store will operate the same hours as our Fullarton Road store (10am - 4pm, Monday - Friday).*
*Update as of Wednesday 29th April 2020 - our Fullarton Road op shop will reopen on Monday, 4th May to give the community access to items such as low cost winter clothing, student desks, heaters, toys and books for children on homeschool etc.*
To protect our staff, volunteers, and you, our customers, we have made the very difficult decision to close some of our op shops due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Our commitment now is to continue to assist the 3000+ people that rely on our Community Pantries each week, and we know we have a big challenge ahead of us to keep them running.
We know it is a tough time for everyone right now. Councils, businesses and individuals, we welcome your food and financial donations now more than ever. We will also continue to run our material aid program, providing white goods, bedding and other household essentials to those doing it tough. If you need support, please contact us on 1300 892 010.
Fullarton Road, Sunshine, and Presston are still accepting donations. Please do not dump donations at our other sites, as the disposal of dumped donations is a huge cost for all charities and something we just cannot afford, especially right now.
Thanks to everyone who has played a part in supporting us. We are working really hard to make sure our charity continues long after this virus has gone.
Helping Hands Mission Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation that runs seven opportunity shops across Melbourne and rural Victoria, and provides emergency support to Victorian families and individuals who are suffering as a result of extreme circumstance.
Extreme circumstance can strike anyone at any time. Natural disasters, such as drought or bushfire, have an enormous impact on the day-to-day lives of many families. Similarly, illness or unexpected loss of income can place people in a sudden and very difficult situation. We currently work in partnership with a number of local and rural aid agencies to ensure the emergency and material aid support we provide is accessible and directed across a broad range of community needs.
Our op shops are a treasure trove of quality clothing, footwear, books, toys, furniture, homewares and bric-a-brac, and we keep our prices low to ensure that everyone can afford to wear nice clothes, furnish their homes, and buy toys for their kids. This provides a sense of dignity to those who need our help most. We also run Work for the Dole programs, giving job seekers the opportunity to develop their skills and improve employability, and we offer meals 5 days a week in our Community Kitchen at 492 Fullarton Road, Airport West (just $3 for a generous buffet-style lunch, $2 for morning tea, and light refreshments for afternoon tea, free of charge).
As well as being a resource and a meeting place for the community, these op shops provide the funding we need to deliver programs that focus on providing emergency aid, material aid and opportunities for social inclusion. Every dollar spent in our op shops goes back to helping the community.
Come and visit us today and see why Helping Hands op shops have become an integral part of the community during our 12 years of operation. Our op shops are located in Airport West, East Keilor, Roxburgh Park, Preston, Sunshine, and Bridgewater on Loddon (just outside of Bendigo).