We often hear about the power of community, but it’s stories like the one I’m about to share that truly bring it to life.
A few months ago, a woman walked into one of our Anglicare Op Shops on the Northern Beaches. She looked like she had been through tough times, and her presence tugged at my heart.
As she introduced herself to me, manager of that store, her tale began to unfold. Sarah* had heard about the support offered by our shop. I knew this was my chance to make a difference in her life. Guiding her to our cosy lounge space, I made her a cup of tea and a simple banana sandwich. Her hunger was evident, and it pained me to see her distress.
Though English wasn’t her first language, Sarah and I shared a common tongue that bridged our communication gap. As Sarah told me more of her story, I discovered simple ways that I could help her. I gave her a bag filled with food, a pair of shoes, and a book that I believed would be of value to her after our conversation. In those few moments, deep connection and trust were built.
As Sarah prepared to leave, overwhelmed with emotion, she clung to me, tears streaming down her face. It was the first time in seven long years that someone had spent so much time listening to her. She felt valued, seen and heard.
Sarah, became a regular at our Op Shop. I made sure to set aside food for her, sourced from our street mission efforts. In her gratitude, Sarah began telling others that we had saved her life. It wasn’t just us, though. With the incredible network of support within our community, Sarah eventually secured housing placement. She finally felt safe, for the first time in years.
This story is just one of many that demonstrate the impact of the work being done right here in our community by Anglicare Op Shop staff. We are not just a store; we are a lifeline, a beacon of hope, showing love and compassion to those in need, regardless of their circumstances.
Come visit our new Anglicare Op Shop Outlet store at The Corso (Shop 6), Manly, for all your thrifting needs! Find a store.
Janine (Shop Manager at Northern Beaches)