Note: This letter from the editor was originally published in our weekly newsletter and is being republished here.
So many industry sectors have been financially impacted by the pandemic lockdowns – charitable organisations included. Like other enterprises, they’ve been forced to change the way they operate (fundraise) in order to continue delivering social and environmental programs to the most vulnerable in our communities.
Salvos Stores, the retail arm of The Salvation Army in Australia, has launched Australia’s largest online op-shop this week in the hope of reaching loyal customers and encourage op-shoppers to continue supporting their social causes. 100% of the profits from Salvos Stores fund The Salvation Army programs which assist vulnerable Australians who are experiencing homelessness, domestic violence and family abuse, and find themselves in emergency crisis (such as losing their homes in devastating Australian bushfires).
To further understand how the charity sector has been impacted by COVID-19 measures, I connected with Matt Davis, National Director Salvos Stores, to get a better feel for what’s happening on the ground.
Has the Salvos seen a drop in $ and has this affected ability to deliver programs?
Matt Davis: On April 1st we made the difficult decision to close our network of 350 stores, this meant that we didn’t have any funds coming in and our stores exist to generate funds to support Salvation Army Community Programs here in Australia.
We have worked incredibly hard to ensure we could protect as much of what we had raised, whilst also maintaining a duty of care of our teams, throughout this time. It will make delivery of Salvation Army programs a bit different and maybe a bit trickier next year, but we are confident we can continue to provide as much support as we can to Australians in need.
How has the pandemic affected the organisation?
MD: COVID-19 has had significant impact on Salvos Stores as we had to close our stores on 1st April, throughout this time we kept many of our store teams engaged to support with cleaning and sorting to ensure we could be ready to re-open when the time came.
As of this week, we have opened 78 stores across our network with additional safety measures in place, so that we can support our local communities and provide an avenue for donations. Throughout this time, we have also been able to launch our online store. Whilst it has been challenging, we are choosing to look at the positives that have come from this situation, which is our ability to adapt and change to this environment, launch new initiatives and of course our amazing community of team members, customers and donors.
How can people support the Salvos outside of online shopping?
MD: If you can and are comfortable to do so, pop down to one of our stores which are open to have a shop or to donate items you no longer need or love. It is also Red Shield Appeal time, so if you can spare a few dollars we are encouraging people to donate this May. This can be done in-store with Salvos Stores or online at salvationarmy.org.au.
Is delivery nationwide only?
MD: Currently shipping is within Australia only, however we will continue to explore different options for shipping as we grow and evolve
So if you’re keen to indulge in a little online op-shopping, grab yourself a bargain (or several), and help to fund programs that assist vulnerable Australians – many of which are needed now, more than ever – make sure to head on over to the Salvos Stores and give them your support.
Quote I’m Loving This Week:
“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” – Joshua Becker
We’ve drawn the winners of the Treedom Earth Day trees giveaway and now sent all winners an email so we can start naming the trees in our Eco Warrior Princess forest. We’re awaiting your responses!
Popular articles from our archives this week:
- 11 Affordable Eco-Friendly and Ethical Underwear Brands For Women and Men
- 7 Ethical Brands for Sustainable Joggers and Sweatpants
- Plant-Based Recipes | Vegan Pho
- 6 Brands Making Ethical and Sustainable Robes and Bathrobes
- 9 Stylish Vegan, Ethical and Eco-Friendly Sandals and Thongs (Flip Flops) Brands
- 10 Best Places to Find (or Sell) Your Second-Hand Furniture in Australia
- 6 Cool AF Ethical Jumpsuit Brands You Can Wear All Year Round
And that’s all from me. Hope you’re all keeping in good spirits during these difficult times and if you’re stuck indoors and keen to see some greenery and be inspired by nature, make sure to follow us on Instagram to get a taste of our organic permaculture adventures at HQ and how we are using this time to build the kind of world we’re imagining.
Peace, love and all that jazz,
Editor-in-Chief Jen xx
Cover image by Wali’s Studio via United Nations/Unsplash.