Another Way of Giving

Another Way of Giving

The Toorak Op Shop, in one of Melbourne’s richest suburbs, is known for its great quality clothes and famous high-end brands at bargain prices. For ACRATH, the shop is known for its extraordinary generosity. For several years the Toorak Op Shop has made an annual donation to ACRATH. In the past four years alone the Toorak Op Shop has donated more than $11,000 to ACRATH, continuing their support through the pandemic.

The Toorak Op Shop’s generosity to ACRATH and the victim/survivors of human trafficking goes back a long way. ACRATH is one of the many recipients of the Op Shop profits. Since it began in 1980 the Op Shop has distributed more than $3.5 million to various community organisations.

Back in 1980 the Toorak Uniting Church, St John’s Anglican Church Toorak and St Peter’s Catholic Church Toorak joined forces and set up an op shop hoping to attract donated items they could sell and use the money to support community organisations. Forty-two years later the Op Shop is going strong.

Treasurer Phillip Thomas said Chairman Ted Mouritz was a driving force behind the continuing success of the shop, which is run completely by volunteers, mostly from the three church communities. The volunteers not only run the shop, they sort and wash the clothes to ensure they are in excellent condition before going on the racks.

The Op Shop distributes profits twice a year based on recommendations from each of the three church communities and the volunteers. How much ACRATH gets each year depends on how much profit has been made.

Phillip, a member of the St Peter’s parish community, said he knew very little about human trafficking before Parish Priest Fr Brendan Hayes asked him to take over as treasurer a couple of years ago. He has since developed an understanding of some of the issues.

“Since I began in this role I have also come to see how many wonderful organisations there are out in the community that are doing great work for others,” Phillip said. “Some organisations receive money regularly, but sometimes there are one off donations such as during the bush fires. In our most recent allocations we donated money to 18 organisations.”

Like the Toorak Op Shop, you too can support the work of ACRATH. For information on how to donate can be found here.

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