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Marlene, 67, has volunteered with Endeavour Recycled Clothing every week since the first Hervey Bay store opened in 1987.
“I’d retired from being a supervisor at Torbay Retirement Village and my husband and I had finished building our house, when I realised I was a bit bored without anything to occupy my time,” Marlene explained.
“So I started volunteering at the Endeavour Recycled Clothing store – I wanted to meet people. “It’s great mixing with people at the store – we have a laugh and it’s a lot of fun. But it’s also great knowing you’re helping the community.”
With this week being National Volunteer Week (May 9-15), there is no better time to acknowledge these dedicated, community-minded people who are the backbone of charities like Endeavour Foundation.
Endeavour Recycled Clothing Hervey Bay manager Chris Spink said the store wouldn’t exist without the 50-odd volunteers who help out, such as Hervey Bay resident Marlene Neubauer.
“If I could clone Marlene I would – she’s a terrific worker,” Chris said.
Endeavour Recycled Clothing stores sell quality pre-loved garments, shoes, jewellery, bags and more, with all proceeds going to Endeavour Foundation’s efforts of supporting people with a disability.
Marlene has seen much change since her first volunteering days 24 years ago. She said her greatest challenge was learning to use the EFTpos machine.
“I didn’t go much on EFTpos – I prefer to stay away from it these days,” she said with a laugh.
Marlene performs a variety of tasks at the store such as sorting and pricing the clothes, customer service, pricing and has also worked the registers.
And she’s not the only Endeavour Foundation volunteer who finds it rewarding. Almost half of the organisation’s 1,200 volunteers were surveyed last year and gave an overall satisfaction of 8.6 out of 10 for volunteering with Endeavour Foundation.
Despite having around 50 volunteers, manager Chris is calling for more.
“We always need more volunteers. We could do with about 80!” she said.
No experience is necessary and the hours are flexible.
Those interested can call the store on 4124 0118.
Chris will celebrate National Volunteer Week this week by holding a morning tea for the volunteers every day.
“We make every day during National Volunteer Week a celebration,” she said.
“I’ll get up every day to bake for it – it’s only fair that I put in the effort to show my appreciation for our volunteers who do so much for us.”
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