Vinnies calls for donation pause during pandemic volunteer shortage - St Vincent de Paul Society QLD
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    Vinnies calls for donation pause during pandemic volunteer shortage

    With many Vinnies Queensland volunteers unable to assist, donations have been piling up, as shown in this pile of donations from Rockhampton.

    Vinnies is asking Queenslanders to temporarily hold-on to their donations to its retail shops as a pandemic volunteer shortage has left the op-shop struggling to keep up with the community’s generosity.  

    Brisbane Retail Operations Manager Renzo Salvetti said around a quarter of Vinnies volunteers in the region were isolating due to the current Omicron outbreak, with Vinnies Shops all across the state impacted by reduced capacity.

    “We are always so grateful for quality donations to our shops, and are overwhelmed by the generosity of locals donating their unwanted clothes and household items to support Vinnies,” Renzo said. 

    “Unfortunately, with a significant amount of our volunteers home sick or isolating due to COVID-19, we now mean overwhelmed quite literally. 

    “We’re asking if Queenslanders can consider storing their donations for the next two weeks to help us catch up. 

    “We are still accepting quality donations but a bit of breathing room until our volunteers can return would be very appreciated!” 

    Naomi Hird, Retail Operations Manager for Western Brisbane, said with about 14 tonnes of mixed donations processed each week for the region alone, it was especially important to ensure donations are in good quality and not damaged or stained.  

    “We really do appreciate donations but please, if it’s damaged, torn or stained, please do not donate it,” she said. 

    “If you wouldn’t give it to a friend, don’t give it to Vinnies. 

    “Also if a donation bin is full, please don’t dump out the front – in-person donations at our Shops is preferred.” 

    Renzo said Vinnies always welcomed new volunteers to assist in the shops to help sort donations or work at the registers.   

    “The donations we receive and sell help to fund our ongoing support for people experiencing poverty or homelessness throughout Queensland and surrounds, but we can’t do it without the help of volunteers,” he said. 

    If you’re interested in volunteering with Vinnies, contact