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27 October 2023
In a heart-warming testament to unwavering community support and dedication, Diamond Creek Opportunity Shop, a cornerstone of the Diamond Creek Auxiliary under Friends of Austin Health, is celebrating an incredible 50 years of fundraising for Austin Health. This milestone not only underscores the Op Shop's enduring commitment but also celebrates the extraordinary volunteers who have been the backbone of this initiative.
Over the 50 years of fundraising for Austin Health, the shop has raised more than four million dollars and has evolved from humble beginnings, from raising an initial sum of $86.01 in 1974, to an astounding $247,355.61 in the fiscal year 2022-23.
Jodi Batchelor, Manager of Volunteer Engagement at Austin Health, expressed her gratitude, stating, "It is incredible that an op shop where most items sell for $2 or $3 dollars can bring in that amount of money. It illustrates the incredibly hard work of every single volunteer who helps support the shop."
With millions raised and generously donated to Austin Health over the 50 years of operation, it’s volunteers like Yvonne Dunt and Claire Weaver that truly embody the spirit of Austin's value: 'Together we achieve'. Yvonne Dunt, an exceptional volunteer, and president and secretary at various points, stands as a testament to this shop’s legacy with over 50 years of dedicated service. Claire Weaver, another stalwart volunteer, has dedicated an impressive 49 years to the cause.
“It really is a special place. and the volunteer workforce is impressive. The legacy of the Diamond Creek Op Shop, without paid support in the store in some capacity, is truly remarkable. To have volunteers step up year after year to ensure it stays that way, it is rare,” says Jodi.
The funds raised have been instrumental in supporting Austin Health to purchase essential medical equipment, including the Kidney Machine Perfusion, a surgical microscope, and three anaesthetic machines.
As we celebrate "149 Years of Kindness", the Diamond Creek Op Shop and its volunteers continue to be a shining example of the power of community and the spirit of giving, reminding us that together, we can achieve incredible things.