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The stores run by St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army in Parramatta has reopened as COVID-Safe stores. The stores run by St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army in Parramatta has reopened as COVID-Safe stores.
01 February 2021 Posted by 

Local charities are extending a hand to first-timers

ELIZABETH FRIAS
A FEW dollars spent on St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army stores near you would make a huge difference to those for the first time had to rely on charities.
Leading charities called on the public to splurge on COVID-Safe thrift shops so they can extend a hand to those from Western Sydney who need it.
 
At Salvos, a $25 purchase assists homeless persons while St Vinnies’ $1M appeal that begun last Christmas is meant for struggling families and individuals.
 
The June 2020 Social Services Payment Data Report showed the Parramatta Council area has 11,239 new JobSeeker allowance recipients, another 15,811 within the Cumberland Council area and the Hills Shire has the least with 4,925 individuals.
 
The report said 4,342 locals rely on Disability Support Pension (DSP) and 958 receive single parents allowance; Cumberland has 7,012 on DSP and 1,775 single parents; while the Hills shire accounts for 1,765 individuals on DSP and 484 single parents.
 
St Vinnies CEO Yolanda Saiz said the Australia Institute suggested that winding back JobSeeker support payment to $40 per day from January this year will push an additional 51,000 people in NSW into poverty.
 
“Between bushfires, coronavirus and the financial uncertainty many people are facing the need for our help and it is greater than ever,” said Ms Saiz.
 
During Christmas, Vinnies distributed food hampers, food vouchers and financial assistance to families and gifts for kids.
 
The Salvos’ 355 stores, including a new outlet in Lidcombe, and Vinnies’ 255 shops are now fully stocked with new items that had been sanitized for at least 48 hours prior to displaying them for bargain hunters.
 
Customers must adhere to limited number of people allowed inside the premises, use a face mask while shopping and apply hand sanitizer provided at the entry as they sign in for contact tracing registration.
 
Overwhelmed with donations
 
“We’ve been overwhelmed with donations of quality goods since the pandemic because everybody has been so generous of their support for the Salvos,” said Salvation Army customer experience manager, Aife O’Loughlin.
 
“When they come and visit the shops, they will see so many items because there has been an outpouring of support from kind-hearted Australians who have been conscious of our financial situation throughout this pandemic.”
 
A Salvo truck has been busy picking up donated items as well as drop-off furniture and white goods to families that need them but has no means of transport, Ms O’Loughlin said.
 
From Parramatta to the Hills Shire, St Vinnies received donations boost from generous people during the pandemic, said Peter Hancock, St Vinnies North Parramatta chapter president.
 
“There are kind parishioners who have been extremely generous in helping out and we are grateful for their responses because we've been able to assist families who lost jobs,” Mr Hancock said.
 
Those rendered jobless due to the pandemic have had to knock on the door of charities but Mr Hancock is optimistic it is a” temporary scenario” because once the economy picks up, those on JobSeeker allowance as a result of the pandemic would get back on their feet.
 
The Parramatta chapter had been assisting about 100 new families and individuals residing in the council area
 
Donate at  www.vinnies.org.au
or call 13 18 12 and St Vinnies shops. For Salvation Army, click on www.salvationarmy.org.au/donate/
 
 


editor

Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.