Lithgow Anglicare has had its doors open for over six months now and the store has been steadily growing.
The success of the store has been attributed to its hard working staff, volunteers and community members.
The shop has an outreach pastor, a permanent manager, permanent part time worker and 12 volunteers.
“Credit goes to Anglicare to how well they have presented it and the opportunities available for the community, such as the community pantry that anyone can use,” general manager Kim Squires said.
Ms Squires said she personally found seeing the community getting behind the store quite rewarding, especially when people paid for bags of food for others.
That is something that the head Anglicare store has noticed.
“An elderly gentleman comes in every week to pay $50 to buy five bags of food for people who can’t afford it,” Ms Squires said.
According to Ms Squires, the store gets donations of clothing which is then pressed and well presented.
“One third of the clothes still have tags on them and have actually never been worn,” she said.
“We have quite a high standard of what we will put in the store for residents to purchase,”
One of the challenges that the Lithgow Anglicare store has faced over 2018 was joining in the Halloween celebrations.
“Being a Christian organisation it was hard, but we wanted to have a presence without taking a huge part in it,” Ms Squires said.
“But it may have been divine intervention as we had a great outcome for the store, giving out over 200 DVD’s to children about Jesus.”
Personally, Ms Squires said her biggest challenge was having never worked in retail before.
“Everyone has embraced me and they’ve embraced the store,” she said.
Ms Squires said she wanted the Lithgow Anglicare store to continue to be a successful business.
“More importantly I want it to continue to assist the community in a positive way and to show the love of Jesus through what we do and how we do it,” she said.
According to Ms Squires the kids have loved the play area and that when parents want to leave its a struggle to get them out.
“The pantry has been a wonderful success, all round everything has been well thought and laid out and executed,” she said.
With the retail industry in Lithgow being slow, Ms Squires said there was room for improvement.
“I am happy with how we are progressing, as they say ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’,” she said.
Ms Squires said the partnership with the Anglican church in Lithgow has been essential, with them being embraced and working together along the way.
“Without support we wouldn’t have been so successful so quickly,” she said.