Red Cross SHOP…what is it?

Have you heard about Red Cross Shops? No? That’s okay. I was in your position until we moved in Australia. Red Cross is not all about blood donation, first-aid, help during and after disasters which we normally see on television. Australian Red Cross has shops: boutique and pop-up shops. Their facebook page says, “We sell fab recycled and new goods to raise funds for the everyday work of Australian Red Cross.”

South Melbourne Red Cross Shop is one of the A grade red cross shops in Victoria. It means the shop sells new and pre-loved fashion with quality. Yes. You heard it right. They also purchase and sell brand new items. Some of their new products are:

  • Jewelries
  • Socks
  • Underwear or padded undergarments
  • Lingerie
  • Beauty products such as soap, lotion or bath sets
  • Stationery such as greeting cards, gift cards and gift wrappers.
  • Pillows
  • Tableware such as dining sets and cups
  • Scented candles and aroma reeds
  • Scarves

Outside the shop is a bin where people drop their donations. They can also go inside the shop to personally give them to the staffs. So how do an A grade shop sort your donations? Well, there are guidelines to follow.

  1. Definitely, clothes with stain, even how small it is, will not go to the display.
  2. A missing button is a big no.
  3. Zipper must be smoothly functioning.
  4. Worn out clothes are not tagged.
  5. Shoes, bags, homewares, toys, books must still be in good condition.
  6. Pre-loved underwear, bra or padded undergarments go to trash bin. DO NOT donate these items.

Today is my second day as a retail volunteer. It requires minimum of 4 hours per week with 2 shifts to choose from: 10am – 2pm and 2pm – 6pm . What do we do? On a daily basis, we clean the shop, sort your donations, clean and tag the items that will go to the display, steam the clothes, dress the mannequin(if necessary), sort the displays to make them look more appealing, assist the customers or those who need help in the fitting rooms, take charge of the cash registry, chat and make friends with other staffs.  It’s a fulfilling job and an opportunity to learn new things.

So if you are in Melbourne, thinking of buying some Christmas presents and like pre-loved things, head on to the nearest red cross shops. You get what you want, you shop with a cause. And if it is not enough and you want to do more, support the community by applying as a volunteer.



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