Quiet first birthday for Community Helpers warehouse

Community Helpers Inc. chairman, James Fowler with warehouse manager, Helen Christie showing off the first birthday cake they had made to celebrate Monday’s milestone.

It’s been 12 months since Community Helpers Inc. officially opened its new warehouse at Nuriootpa and the important milestone wasn’t going to pass without acknowledgment.

COVID-19 restrictions might have tamed Monday’s celebrations, but not the organisation’s ability to still donate $163,800 back into the Barossa during 2019/2020, contributing to the more than $2.35 million given during the 21 years since its humble beginnings as a tiny Op Shop in Tanunda.

Community Helpers expanded over those years and today approximately 70% of money raised assists Carers and Disability Link and 30% is donated to a diverse range of worthwhile projects, from schools to charitable organisations.

Warehouse Manager, Ms Helen Christie said volunteers were the heart and soul of their success and without the “thousands of hours of donated time each year” the warehouse would not exist.

“It is unfortunate due to COVID restrictions it is not possible to invite the 60 people who volunteer at the warehouse, nor our supportive customers and donors to celebrate this milestone with us today,” said Helen.

“We have organised a small morning tea each day this week so volunteers can participate in this celebration in small numbers when they are normally rostered on, but all should be proud of the massive contribution they have made over the past year.”

 Helen recalls their time in the previous rental premises and acknowledged the ongoing support from the community.

“We are so grateful to be able to now have a purpose built facility, so not only can volunteers enjoy the advantages of flat floors when moving furniture and a weatherproof environment all year round, but customers too can enjoy the luxury of indoor toilets, a sealed carpark and minor comforts like air-conditioning when they visit
us.”

Chairman, Mr James Fowler echoed Helen’s sentiments as he welcomed Mr Tony Pasin, Federal Member for Baker, who popped in on Monday afternoon for a slice of birthday cake to mark the
occasion.

“We love our new home and according to the level of support, so do the public,” said James.

“Recycling goods in the manner we do, has struck a positive note with the public. It’s a win-win all round with our truck pick ups and delivery being very popular as it makes it so easy for the public to dispose of unwanted goods and easy for delivery to the
buyers.”

Like other businesses, Community Helpers have had a tough time due to restrictions. However, with the “initiatives and diligence” of management and help from selfless volunteers, the organisation maintained a valuable cash flow throughout the worst of the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“The operation has been managed smoothly throughout this year,” said James, acknowledging the board for their input during a “difficult year”.

 “The benefits of our new warehouse home have ensured a great future for Community Helpers,” said James.

“ Now we start another year where we look forward to helping Carers and Disability Link and other charitable and vulnerable groups in the Barossa area for many years to come.”

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