A few decades ago, if you were out shopping for clothes and other second-hand items and went to an op shop, the general feeling from people would have been to feel sorry for your misfortune.
While charity stores were born in the 1890s, as a global economic depression brought many into poverty, the term “op shop” was invented in Australia in the 1920s by a former Melbourne showgirl, Lady Millie Tallis.
She wanted to give the thrift shop a more dignified name, so she coined the term “opportunity shop”, or op shop.
Now, op shopping has shed the stigma it once had of being an economic necessity to being one of finding a bargain and being an eco-conscious shopper.
You don’t always associate op shops with foodbanks and that’s because most aren’t linked. In Flagstone however, they are.
It wasn’t until 1995 that Foodbank Queensland was founded by Clem Jones AO and Ian Brusasco AO. This opened the doors to many charities being able to help more people.
When many think of a foodbank, they think it is for the poor and homeless only which gives it a stigma that they don’t deserve. A foodbank is for everyone from a person living on the street to a family that has a steady income.
Daniel and his wife Tammy started the Flagstone Foodbank in April 2020 because they wanted to help people. It started small but with a strong dream and the hard work the family applied, plus the need within the community, the foodbank has grown to what it is today.
With the growth of the foodbank saw the need for a larger building and with a lot of development in the area, the Flagstone Central Shopping Centre on Bushman Drive was looking to be a good option.
Daniel began discussions with Stockwell, the owners of the centre, to see if they could afford to move in to keep helping the community.
It was a slow start however over the next three months, work that included help from Stockwell, local businesses, and further afield small business, the new shop was ready. The front would be the new op shop and the back foodbank.
Opening in July 2021, the op shop has been growing along with the foodbank. Within the first five weeks they almost doubled in size of stock and clients.
Some weeks at the foodbank, there have been a line of people that is two and half hours long just to get in the door.
The community have been very supportive of this program and continue to donate all the items you find in an op shop. Clothes, books, kitchen equipment, tools, toys, shoes, baby furniture, and so much more.
Daniel said that with all the horrible in the world, the generosity we have seen here, I am lost for words.
“The op shop helps pay for the rent and the prices are kept low to be able to help everyone.
“We are not affiliated with any religion, and all are welcome and respected.
“We help people who suffer PTSD, domestic violence, elderly and anyone who walks through our door.
“While the foodbank is open only on Fridays, we do emergency hampers during the week to make sure no one goes without.”
Funding has been a difficult part and always is for smaller charities. Despite this, Daniel and his family team of volunteers continue to operate.
Flagstone Woolworths have jumped onboard and donate two shopping trollies a week of food and Coles have a shopping trolly where people can put donations of food in.
Local Flagstone Café has helped with raffles and Bee All Natural are doing fundraisers with money going towards the shop.
The prices in the op shop are low, and by low, mean really low. This is done to help the people who cannot afford items the chance to buy something nice and not go into dept for it.
Daniel and his family have big plans to help more in the community. Some extras they do is help with car repairs and in DV situations. There are also plans to run camps to help teens in need.
Daniel has a passion for helping people and not seeing those in need struggle.
“The op shop and foodbank is a place of hope, joy and generosity,” said Daniel.
You can donate to Flagstone Op Shop and Foodbank by dropping items in or contacting them on Facebook.
FLAGSTONE FOODBANK OPEN HOURS – FRIDAY 1:30pm-5:30pm.
FLAGSTONE OP SHOP OPEN HOURS – TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY 1:30pm-5:30pm