Loyal Vinnies volunteers, dignitaries and guests gathered for the blessing of the brand new Vinnies shop on Wallis St, Seymour.
The now retired but highly respected Monsignor Anthony Toms spoke at the ceremony before blessing the new shop.
Monsignor Toms praised St Vincent de Paul for all the important work they’ve been able to do in the local community.
‘‘I was very pleased to be invited to perform the blessing as St Vincent de Paul is very dear to me, as is the community of Seymour,’’ Monsignor Toms said.
Jo Torpy, who’s been managing the Vinnies store for more than six years, was excited to see all of the volunteers’ hard work pay off.
‘‘It was several weeks of hard work setting up the shop, and the old shop across the road was still running at the same time,’’ Ms Torpy said.
‘‘We had a lot of great support from volunteers, and the wider Vinnies organisation, which has been wonderful.’’
The Vinnies store has been operating in Seymour for more than 32 years and in that time it’s made a great contribution to the local community.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said the reality is there are many people in the community who are struggling.
‘‘Whether they’re finding it hard to keep up with household bills or put food on the table, sadly there are many people out there that need a helping hand,’’ she said.
‘‘But thanks to the selfless work of Vinnies and its volunteers, many of these people are receiving the help they so desperately need.’’
One of their programs, a co-operation between St Vincent de Paul, Mitchell Shire Council and local businesses, facilities and services, has enabled a showering and laundry service for the homeless.
Homeless people can use a voucher to collect fresh clothes from the Vinnies Shop before they go to shower and launder their existing clothing items using community services.
Vinnies even offers a showering kit which includes a towel, face wash, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and a toothbrush.
People who are looking to donate might notice the Vinnies bins aren’t on the street any more.
Instead, new trolley bins are inside the shop.
‘‘They can just drop their stuff in and then they can start shopping,’’ Ms Torpy said.
‘‘Processing donations are our biggest thing and not everything we receive makes it into the shop.’’
‘‘We have a rule that if it’s not of a suitable quality to wear or to put in your own home then it doesn’t make it into the shop.’’
Some Vinnies volunteers are dedicated just to sorting through new donations, while others price items and place them into the shop, so it’s important to be mindful when making a donation.
The new Vinnies store opened at 5 Wallis St, Seymour yesterday.