As National Volunteer Week is underway, we want to express our gratitude to our incredible and hardworking volunteers who have been instrumental in our Charity's success.
Volunteering is our Foundation.
Broken to Brilliant was founded by volunteer Founding Directors and Board members donating 10 to 40 hours a week and sometimes in addition to full-time employment. Our Board of Directors may have changed since we were established. Our current volunteer Directors are as equally dedicated, working, and eager to be changemakers in their roles.
Since our establishment in 2015 and launching the Charity and our first book titled 'Broken to Brilliant Break Free to be You' in 2016, we have expanded our programs and services and opened two Op Shops. All thanks to the dedication and support of our Change Makers - the Volunteers who give their time and skills to support our charity. Their unwavering commitment helps us create a better world, free from violence, and assist those affected by domestic violence to heal, recover and rebuild their lives.
Volunteering Op Shop Hours
Our volunteers can be seen at our Op Shops every day – except Sunday. They work tirelessly to keep the Op Shop doors open, and the customers served, and meticulously sort through volumes of donations and work on getting them cleaned, stored, steamed, ironed, valued, priced, labelled, tested, and tagged or recycled.
Managing all the donated items requires a lot of work. Over the past two years, our Broken to Brilliant Geebung Op Shop volunteers have kept the store open Monday to Friday between 9 to 4 pm – 7 hours every weekday and 9 to 3 pm on Saturdays – 6 hours every Saturday. Recently the hours have changed. Approximately this works out to be 41 hours per week and over a year the shop has two or more volunteers working for 1,968 hours*.
Similarly, our Broken to Brilliant Brisbane City Op Shop is open 10.30 to 4.30 pm Monday to Friday – 6 hours every weekday and two Saturdays a month 10 to 2 pm – 4 hours. That is 38 hours every week and over the year the shop volunteers work 1,824 hours**.
Those hours do not include the hours before the shops are open when the volunteers are cleaning, moving stock between stores, setting up displays, setting up for sales, emptying bins and more. Also, these hours do not include the volunteers who pop into the store pick up and job bundle and volunteer from their home. They unpick zippers, buttons, and lace from damaged clothes.
Reusing, repurposing, recycling
Our volunteers' efforts in reusing, repurposing, and recycling contribute to reducing textile waste, keeping many items out of landfills by selling buttons and zips and recycling clothing into free rags. It's disheartening to know that Australian Households generated 12.4 million tonnes of waste and they contributed nearly 90% of all the textile waste (247,000 tonnes). Our volunteers are doing their part in reducing waste.
Delivery, Accounts and Auditing
We needed additional volunteers to help build and install racks and sort boxes. On occasion, due to demand we may collect and deliver big items to survivors in need. Also, there is a volunteer bookkeeper behind the scenes who helps to ensure accounting codes are applied accurately. Annually, an Accounting Company volunteers to audit our accounts
If you thought, we had done enough - wait there is more!
There is a group of green thumb volunteers that loving cut, plant, water, prune, fertilise, water and nurture plants to get them ready for sale. They ensure succulents are beautifully presented and plants are lush and healthy. They transport plants to and from the Geebung Op Shop. On the third Saturday of the month, they gladly stand out on the footpath between 9:30 to 2:30 pm, chatting to customers and selling plants to support our horticultural therapy program, which is soon to be released.
It's challenging to quantify the numerous volunteer processes and hours that go into operating our Op Shops, and there is a significant amount of work both in our stores and behind the scenes. As the Founders of the Charity Broken to Brilliant, we want to express our heartfelt appreciation to our Change Makers for keeping our Op Shops running smoothly.
You can become a Broken to Brilliant Change Maker by becoming a volunteer. Apply on our Help Us page
Stay tuned for our next blog that thanks our volunteers who work behind the scenes in our program and resource development.