Volunteers jump on board

VOLUNTEERING BRINGING JOY: Grantville Salvation Army Thrift Shop volunteers Jenny and Ilona say they have enjoyed the past year giving back to the community.

Charlotte Varcoe

IT has only been a little over a year since Ilona and Jenny joined the Salvation Army as volunteers and they have enjoyed every second of their time.

Stationed at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop in Mount Gambier’s Grantville Court, Jenny decided to join after losing her husband whom she cared for and expressed gratitude at being able to give back to the community.

She said she was not used to having the house to herself after the passing of her husband and, after completing everything she needed to do following his death, she thought it was a good idea to get back out and about among the broader community.

“I was sitting there staring at four walls,” Jenny said.

“I thought it was not a good thing for me to do and remembered I always enjoyed volunteering so I chose to go to the Salvation Army.

“The Salvation Army has a history of actually doing things, especially with the money raised which doesn’t get spent on advertising or on corporate structures; it goes to where it is supposed to go and where it is needed which really appealed to me.”

Jenny said she enjoyed volunteering at the thrift store with the work giving her a great deal of satisfaction.

“Throughout my time at the Salvation Army, we have come together as quite a diverse group of people and we all have different lifestyles too which is fantastic,” she said.

“I would thoroughly recommend anybody who has a bit of time to volunteer because I know I have gained quite a lot from it.”

Joining the Grantville Court thrift store last year, Illona said she also decided to volunteer to get herself out of the house and engage with the community.

“I was alone at home a lot and was very lonely so I saw a counsellor and they suggested I go and do something in the community,” Ilona said.

“I previously volunteered in Victor Harbor where I used to live and decided to give the Salvation Army a go.

“Since starting I have really settled in here and love it.”

Sorting clothes and serving customers, Ilona said the experience had improved her confidence.

“I was quite shy before I started here but since then I have come out of my comfort zone through our live streams to social media and generally,” she said.

“I also really enjoy going out for dinner with my fellow volunteers outside of work hours.”

The Grantville Salvation Army Thrift Shop is open Tuesday to Friday from 9am until 4pm.