As of June 1, nine out of the network of 36 shops were open, with more set to follow in the coming weeks and months.
Vinnies SA CEO Louise Miller Frost said it was a “sad day” when the shops were forced to close.
“But it was really the only option,” she said.
“While SA has come on in leaps and bounds since then in terms of minimising the transmission of COVID-19, we couldn’t risk the safety and wellbeing of our loyal volunteers and customers. We also felt it was really important to role model the importance of staying at home.
“For some volunteers, it was a real wrench – volunteering at Vinnies has been an integral part of their lives for many years, and it is a really important way for them to maintain connections to their community.
“We also have a very loyal customer base who view Vinnies as more than just a retail destination, and we are very excited about being able to welcome them back.”
As Vinnies receives minimal government funding, profits from the sale of goods in its shops go towards funding services including crisis accommodation, assistance with bill payment, and the provision of food and meal services. The interruption to retail income has come at a difficult time, as the organisation readies itself to meet the anticipated growing demand for services due to job losses as a result of the pandemic.
Ms Miller Frost said Vinnies was hoping those in the community who are in a position to help others affected by the pandemic would donate to the COVID-19 Winter Appeal at vinnies.org.au/donate or by calling 13 18 12.
The current Vinnies shops that are open in the metropolitan area are Elizabeth, Hawthorn, Kidman Park and Norwood. In regional SA, Mount Barker, Mount Gambier, Naracoorte, Whyalla and Whyalla Westland have opened their doors.
Updates on other stores reopening can be found at vinnies.org.au/page/Shops/SA/
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