(08) 8269 9333 stateoffice@lutherancare.org.au

Urgent call out for quality preloved goods as op shop donations dry up

Large empty storage containers at Lutheran Care's donation distribution centre in Blair Athol.

Urgent call out for quality preloved goods as op shop donations dry up

South Australian born and bred community services organisation and charity, Lutheran Care, is urging people to declutter for a good cause, with new donations having almost completely run out. 

Lutheran Care relies on donations from generous members of the public to stock its six Op Shops across Adelaide and the Barossa. The stores raise funds for Lutheran Care’s Emergency Relief program, which supports families and individuals experiencing crisis and disadvantage with food pantries; blankets/bedding; supermarket, op shop and transport vouchers; and referrals to other Lutheran Care programs such as financial counselling, personal/relationships counselling and homelessness services.  

Donations are usually collated and sorted at the organisation’s Blair Athol Donation Distribution Centre, however at one point this week, the 18 large crates which are usually full of new donations ready for sorting, were completely empty.  

Lutheran Care’s Chief Executive Officer, Rohan Feegrade says it’s a real sign of the times, with donations at the lowest point the organisation has ever seen.

“We urgently need donations of quality, second-hand goods, so we can continue offering our services to the people who desperately need them – who are growing significantly in number due to the current housing and cost of living crises,” Mr Feegrade says.  

“With many households feeling the pinch, we understand many people who would usually donate may instead be looking to sell items they no longer need online. 

“But we are issuing an urgent call to people at home who do have items they are no longer using and are in a position where they can donate them for the benefit of people doing it tough in our community. 

“We will gladly take them off your hands and sell them to raise funds for Emergency Relief, or make them available to our Emergency Relief voucher customers. 

“We particularly need donations of warm winter clothing, as August is typically one of our cooler months, and many of our customers are facing homelessness and housing insecurity and will be urgently needing something to keep the cold away.”

Will you declutter for a good cause? 

A female volunteer at the shop counter of Elcies Norwood, with a few items for sale in the foreground and background.
Volunteer Meredith with a few of the items for sale at Lutheran Care’s Elcies Op Shop on Norwood Parade.

Lutheran Care is seeking donations of:

  • Clothing, particularly winter clothes
  • Shoes/boots 
  • Accessories 
  • Bric-a-brac 
  • Furniture
  • Books
  • Toys 
  • Small working electrical items, particularly cooking implements such as toasters, kettles, electric fry pans and woks, slow cookers and rice cookers, so clients experiencing housing insecurity can cook for themselves whilst in emergency accommodation.
  • Décor  
  • Kitchenware, including pots, pans and plates.

Donations can be taken to Lutheran Care’s Op Shop Donation Distribution Centre at 307 Prospect Road, Blair Athol.

Alternatively, they can be brought in to any of Lutheran Care’s Elcies stores: 

  • 43-45 The Parade, Norwood 
  • 231 Military Road, Semaphore 
  • Shop 4/46 Murray Street, Tanunda. 

About our stores and recycling efforts

Stocking an impressive range of ‘higher end’ items and brands in a boutique-style setting, Lutheran Care’s three Elcies stores are important fundraisers for Lutheran Care programs. Adelaide media icon Peter Goers has labelled them the best Op Shops in Adelaide. The Lutheran Care-branded Op Shops in Blair Athol and Smithfield Plains are more traditional op shops, stocking good quality affordable items for families on lower incomes and bargain hunters alike. 

Lutheran Care is in a very unique niche when it comes to its Opportunity Shop outlets, explains Percy Henry, Lutheran Care’s Chief Operating Officer, who is also responsible for Lutheran Care’s retail arm.

An Op Shop volunteer wearing a purple apron with 'Care in Action' embroidered on it with some of the ladies' clothes at our Blair Athol Op Shop.
Lutheran Care Op Shops, including the Blair Athol store, offer high quality affordable items for families on lower incomes and bargain hunters alike. The store accepts Emergency Relief vouchers from clients so they can purchase items they need at no cost to them.

“We have two distinctly different brands – Elcies and Lutheran Care. Elcies was created specifically for people who want to op shop while our Lutheran Care shops are there for people who need to op shop.

“Elcies carries our more higher-end stock and has a different pricing structure to reflect this.

“Our Lutheran Care branded Op shops still carry high quality stock but at a significantly reduced price point than our Elcies shops. However, the profit from all our retail outlets feeds directly into our programs such as Emergency Relief to help those most vulnerable in the communities we serve.

“This is why receiving quality recycled clothing is so important to us,” he said.

Lutheran Care’s General Manager Op Shops, Babs Deane ensures that the focus of the Op Shops is to raise funds and save items from landfill, with the team making sure that every donation is used to its full potential. 

“If an item is stained, tarnished, broken or ripped, our volunteers will do their best to clean and mend it so it’s ready for sale,” Ms Deane says. 

“If this isn’t possible, our incredible volunteers can use the best parts of rejected textiles into patchwork quilts and tote bags. Any poorer quality cottons we cut up to sell as rags. 

“We even sell copper from inside non-working electrical items, so we can raise more funds and nothing is wasted.” 

However, what is most needed right now are excellent quality, clean donations of preloved goods.

For more information about our Op Shops, please visit: https://www.lutherancare.org.au/op-shops/