Creating opportunities with the help of an Op Shop

Van with people

If you have ever wondered what happened when you donated to or bought goods from the Connecting2Australia (C2A) Cooinda Opportunity Shop, here’s your answer – it contributed towards the purchase of new vehicles to support those living with a disability within your local community.
Run by a team of dedicated and passionate volunteers, the C2A Cooinda Op Shop has raised significant funds that have been used to upgrade four vehicles sited at C2A Traralgon’s Dunbar Road site.
According to C2A Traralgon Coordinator Alyson Walsh, the new vehicles have had a positive impact on the 42 participants supported by C2A as well as the environment, with the two Camrys being part of the Hybrid range.
“The new vehicles enable more of our participants who use wheelchairs to get out and about and enjoy group and 1:1 activities within the community”, she said. “As one of the new buses accommodates two wheelchairs, it allows everyone the ability to access community venues that are a bit out of the way and don’t have regular accessible public transport. The new Camrys have also enabled more people to undertake activities while on weekend short-term accommodation”.
Another plus is the new vehicles have excellent air conditioning and heating which makes the longer regional trips far more comfortable for all passengers.
“We’re often travelling out and about with our participants, providing them with a wide range of activities including trips to Walhalla, Churchill, Cowwarr Weir, Gormandale Neighbourhood House, our Art Space in Moe to name a few”, said Alyson. “With the new vehicles, the longer trips (such as to Melbourne for the Grand Prix) where public transport really isn’t a viable option, are far more accessible and enjoyable”.
With the assistance of the op shop volunteers and the Traralgon community who supports their efforts, C2A has been able to enhance the experience of day to day transportation for our participants. It’s only by working together has this wonderful outcome become possible.
“We’re very grateful to our wonderful volunteers who gift their time and energy to operate such a viable opportunity shop”, said Alyson. “It’s great to see their hard work pay off in such a positive and tangible way that directly impacts on those who need it the most”.
The C2A Cooinda Opportunity Shop is situated at 15 Seymour St Traralgon and is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm and Saturday 9.30am to 1pm. Delivery and collection of larger items can also be arranged by phoning 5174 6911.

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