Shop for a cause

Shop managers Tina Gregson and Sheryl Hill.

Margie Maccoll

The Katie Rose Cottage Op Shops provide a vital service in generating at least half of the funds required to operate the hospice that provides end of life care free to local residents.

Run by a team of about 30 volunteers the op shops at Tewantin and Cooroy are marking their fifth anniversary since opening in December 2016.

Fabulous fashion, homewares, toys and gift items are sold at the shops, most brought in as donations from members of the community.

Shop managers Sheryl Hill and Tina Gregson said six to eight people come in each day with donations from small items to multiple boxes.

“A lot of people know someone who has been through Katie Rose,” Tina said.

“They often thank us for the wonderful care they received.

“It’s important the community knows that all the profits go to the hospice that’s just up the hill and how well guests are looked after for their end of life journey.”

Sheryl said the op shops, including two others more recently opened at Noosaville and Maroochydore, worked together to redistribute goods, ensure they were well staffed and displayed and to direct customers to find the items they wanted.

There are two shops in Poinciana Avenue, Tewantin, managed by Tina. One is dedicated to fashion including shoes, handbags, hats and jewellery. The other stocks homewares. Early next year the stores will combine in a larger store across the road.

The Cooroy shop managed by Sheryl stocks a collection of children’s toy and goods in addition to fashion, homewares. A warehouse store in Noosaville has larger furniture items, while customers searching for ball gowns or wedding dresses are directed to their Maroochydore shop.

“It’s amazing what we’ll get,” Tina said of the many donations.

“Sometimes there are mysteries. We put them on the counter asking people if they can identify the item. It’s fun.”

Customers often call in several times a week to check on the array of goods that have been dropped off.

Sheryl said people sometimes travelled from nearby towns to visit the op shops and there were busloads who visited occasionally.

While the customers revel in the “art of op shopping”, the volunteers also enjoy working in the shop.

“It’s fun,” Tina said. “The camaraderie is very good.”

With Christmas just around the corner, the Katie Rose Cottage Op Shops are a great place for gifts of all kinds. The stores also prepare gift hampers, pamper packs and have a Christmas raffle.