PEACE

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Glory to god in the highest, peace goodwill to all (Luke 2:14)

It’s Week Three of our Christmas Advent. This week we’re taking time to reflect on peace. Peace in ourselves, peace in God and peace in others. Finding peace is finding contentment in our lives which sounds so simple. But without a roof over your head, it’s easy to lose that peace in yourself.

Around 25,000 families will be homeless this year – Susan’s family was one of those.

When the Salvation Army first met Susan her life had been a challenge for many years. Two of her three children have disabilities, and three other babies died at birth. Then Susan’s husband got sick with swine flu. He was put in an induced coma for three months, and was hospitalised for nearly a year. Susan and her children became homeless and only survived by living in their car. They kept their few belongings in the booth, cooked on council BBQs and showered at school. At times Susan stopped eating so the children didn’t have to. Two weeks before Christmas last year, Susan and her family finally moved into permanent housing. The house was empty, and the few pieces of furniture Susan stored in a shed had been stolen or smashed. The family began by sleeping on the floor until The Salvation Army brought around a trailer-load of furniture and an old fridge. In the lounge was a second hand Christmas tree the family found. The children sat alongside it, but there were no presents. Salvation Army volunteers found presents for the tree children, wrapped them and wrote the children’s names on them so Susan could put them under the tree as if Santa had brought them. When Susan saw the presents, she started crying because she couldn’t believe people would care so much. The Salvation Army was able to assist Susan and her family thanks to the generosity of every day Australians.

Susan said:

“As a parent, I felt useless at Christmas. Not being able to supply the wonder and joy to my kids myself was heartbreaking. The Salvos gave me a big bag of gifts that had been donated by people who cared about people like us…it meant the kids had some Christmas magic, thinking Santa had brought them.”

This is what shopping at Salvos Stores is all about. Your purchase helps the Salvation Army provide 10,100 beds every week.

With the third week of our Salvos Stores Six Week Advent, be sure to follow the instructions to enjoy this week’s offer.

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HOPE

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It’s Week Two of Salvos Stores Christmas Advent which means there is only 5 weeks until Christmas!

This week of the Salvos Stores Advent is all about Hope.

Hope is a highly powerful force in our day to day lives especially at Christmas time. It’s one of those things where you only need a little bit of hope to get you going; it keeps us moving and shaking! To put it simply, hope is the will to get there and the different paths to actually get you there.

Be joyful in Hope (Romans 12:12)

Most of us are excited about the upcoming festive season. But Christmas isn’t a time of celebration for everyone. The Salvation Army conducted a survey of their clients this year and found Christmas can be an especially hard time:

  • 60% of clients are unable to afford presents for family and friends 50% do not have regular social contact with others
  • 25% will not share in a meal on Christmas Day

Unfortunately a lack of this hope in these situations is not uncommon. Domestic abuse victims, those in situations of homelessness and the long-term unemployed (to name a few) may sometimes find themselves in states of hopelessness; of not being able to see the path ahead of them – especially at Christmas time.

If you’re out of work, a little bit of hope is all you need to get back out there and stay motivated. The Salvation Army Australia maintains amazing programs to assist a range of people struggling in unemployment to upskill or find a suitable role. Your purchases at Salvos Stores help the Salvation Army find hundreds of people new jobs every week and thus, a little bit of hope.

The Salvation Army this year are running their ‘Give a meal, give hope’ appeal to give 10,000 meals over the Christmas period. For more information visit 10thousandmeals.org.au.

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Don’t forget to follow the instructions on the poster in-store to enjoy the offer this week: Buy 2 books and get the 3rd half price.

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Christmas Challenge with Hannah from In The Dress Up Box

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Hi there! I’m Hannah from In The Dress Up Box. I was so excited to be invited by Salvos Stores to take part in their Six Week Christmas Advent project. They challenged me to put together a Christmas party look head-to-toe from Salvos Stores. My initial thought was PERFECT, I need a new Christmas outfit and Salvos would have been my first stop anyway! So I’m thrilled to share this fully thrifted Salvos look.

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This is a perfect Christmas Day outfit for me. Living in Perth means it’s always stinking hot on Christmas day, so I was on the lookout for breathable fabrics in bright colours and and bold festive patterns. This vintage skirt with it’s fab floral print and big pockets is 100% cotton and PERFECT for swanning around my folks pool on Christmas Day.

I paired this gorgeous skirt with a bright red linen t-shirt which is suitably festive but also nice and comfy. I actually found the skirt and top in the same store at the same time, so I had an instant outfit! I just love it when that happens. A great hat and some jelly sandals complete the look, plus a bright red lip, it is Christmas after all! Hannah

The skirt and top came to $20.50, but because I’m a regular Salvos Stores shopper I’ve been accumulating points on my Salvos Stores Club Card and got a little discount when I got to the counter, so I saved about $7 (woohoo!). Anyone can get a Club Card and they are seriously so good, you accumulate points every time you buy something in store and then every so often you get a discount on your purchase. It’s really cool and doesn’t take long to build the points up. Definitely ask about a card next time you’re at Salvos Stores!

Skirt: Salvos Stores Subiaco $13.25
Top: Salvos Stores Subiaco $7.25
Shoes: Salvos Stores Bibra Lake $6.25
Hat: Salvos Stores O’Connor $15.25 

Hannah

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Thanks so much Hannah! How gorgeous is Hannah’s Christmas outfit? If you’re ever in need of any fashion inspiration – particularly secondhand and thrifted style go check out In The Dress Up Box

This week’s offer, as part of the Salvos Stores Christmas Campaign, is;

  1. Buy 2 books and get the 3rd half price. 

GIVING

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Salvos Stores Christmas Advent- Week One GIVING

Christmas is just over 6 weeks away. It crept up quick! To count down the weeks until Christmas this year we have created Salvos Stores Six Week Christmas Advent!6week

Each week has a different Christmas theme and a different offer. See in-store for more details or head to our Facebook page for instructions.

This week is all about giving.

At Christmas time it’s very easy to get overly concerned about presents at Christmas. Kids spend hours curating their Christmas lists and every year we all spend our time and money finding the perfect presents for our loved ones.

It is more blessed to give, than to receive (Act 20:35)

During the days and weeks following Black Saturday 2009, the day that a series of bushfires swept Victoria, Salvos Stores organised emergency relief donations to those that had lost their homes. Donations and heart-felt messages poured into the warehouse. One in particular caught the eye of Lynda Van Gaalen-Prentice (Territorial Mission Development Co-ordinator) who was on the team behind the mission.

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This paper bag was filled with cherished toys of a 3 year old who was prepared to give them to a stranger in need. The generosity and thoughtfulness of this little boy giving his toys to someone he doesn’t even know shows how raw and innocent the concept of giving can be. It really is better to give than to receive. Scientific studies have shown that those who spend more money on others than themselves are actually happier! So not only are you giving your love to the gift receiver, you also get a dose of self-love.

It’s also great time to be reminded that the positives of buying gifts (for your loved ones or just for yourself) at Salvos Stores over Christmas time are twofold. Firstly you buy your loved one a gift that they will love. This gift has been ‘saved’ from going to landfills so is thus, a sustainable gift as well.

But secondly your purchases at Salvos Stores helps the Salvation Army (amongst other things) give 10,000 meals every week to those in need. So whilst giving that retro camera to your niece, you’re also helping to give to the less fortunate in your community.

This week you can also enjoy a 20% discount when you spend $20 in-store when you follow the instructions found in-store.

6 Tips to Grab Yourself a Bargain on eBay!

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EBay is a brilliant way to find some great bargains from the comfort of your own home.  Ekat, Salvos Stores’ very own eBay Coordinator, shares some tips as to how to bag a bargain on the online auction site.

Shopping online is simple and fun. It often saves you time, because you can search for a particular item and find it right away. You also have the option to browse through available items like you would in a physical store. Here are a few handy tips to remember when you are shopping on eBay:

  1. Pick a strategy

If you’re new to the world of online auctions it can seem a little daunting. Pick one of these easy three strategies in order to not to miss out on items sold through auction.

  • The straightforward : You can place a bid on the item right away by entering the maximum price you wish to pay; you just have to wait until the end of the auction to see if you are the winning bidder. You will get email updates if someone else has outbid you so if you decide you’re prepared to pay more you can up your max bid. Note: be careful with this one, a lot of bidders will wait until the very end to place their bids and you may get out-bid at the last minute!
  • The classic: If you love the thrill of an auction and have time on your hands you can simply ‘watch’ an item and either place your bid or raise it towards the end of the auction. This method is very risky, as you may forget to watch the end of the auction and miss out on your item!
  • The super lazy sneak: To help you with the dilemma of those pesky last minute bidders you have a third option, which is to use an eBay sniping apps. These are designed to help you scoop your item at the very last minute. There is no need to watch for auctions to end, the app will bid for you at the last minute, giving you a peace of mind and a better chance of winning your item. Some applications include Myibidder or Baytomat.

 

  1. Compare prices

1 032_clipped_rev_1It’s sometimes easy to assume that because something is listed on eBay, it’s a bargain. Obviously, this is not the case. So before you get carried away, do your research and make sure you’re paying a fair price. You can simply search for the item in eBay and see what similar items are going for.

  1. Browse away!

You don’t have to be looking for anything specific to find bargains. You can choose from a wide range of categories located to the right of the search tab. You may also like to browse through items available at a particular online store (like the Salvos Stores eBay store!).

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  1. Search alerts

Looking for something pretty specific but there aren’t many listed items? You can search for an item and then click ‘follow this search’. You’ll receive notifications every time an item is listed so you won’t miss a treasure again!

  1. Check for pick up locations

Obviously, you can have all your purchases delivered straight to your door. But stay on the lookout for sellers that give you the option to pick up purchases yourself. Depending on where it is, if it’s only a few kms away, you could save $$$ on postage costs!,

  1. Spellinh misyakes

Not everyone pours their heart and time into listing their items for sale. So search for your item with a misspelt term– you’ll be surprised how many treasures are listed with typo titles! Antiq Warobe for $0.99 anyone?

Have you checked out our eBay store yet? You can shop Salvos Stores without leaving the front door! You can pick up great pieces ranging from collectibles, furniture, clothing, shoes, electronics, home ware and much more.

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Just as when you’re buying from our brick and mortar stores, monies raised from sales of items from Salvos Stores are contributed to the funding of The Salvation Army Australia and the much needed welfare programs.

4 ways Salvos Stores can help you to recycle

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Happy National Recycling Week! Founded by Planet Ark 20 years ago, this week is to educate and raise awareness of the environmental benefits that recycling can provide. Sustainability drives a lot of what we do at Salvos Stores; we consider the environment in everything we do. So to celebrate this week we’ve pulled together four main ways you can help your green conscience with Salvos Stores.

1.SHOP!IMG_0036

We live in a consumption driven society. We ‘need’ new things everyday which sadly costs the earth. So why is ‘shop!’ one of your hot tips to a more sustainable life, I hear you cry? If you’re not ready to considerably reduce your buying behavior, buying second-hand is a good step. Buying second-hand items is better for the environment than buying new. Period. Pre-loved items have already served their function so any extended use is recycling! Finding new homes for second-hand goods also prevents them from hitting landfills, which are ever-filling and release methane and greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change.

2. DONATE

What happens to your belongings after you have finished with them? In order to responsibly reduce household waste, we need to ask ourselves this question. Items that are still functional and in good nick can be donated to your local Salvos Stores. We’ll make sure your pre-loved goods have an extended life by going to a new good home.

3. BYO BAG

bagDid you know, your average plastic bag takes anywhere between 20 and 1,000 (!) years to decompose in landfill. For this reason we don’t provide plastic bags with your purchases at Salvos Stores. We’d like you to reuse bags you already own and help us to reduce this sort of waste. If you’re looking for a bag that will last and carry all of your treasures you can pick up a re-usable Salvos Stores one in-store for just $1.

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Look for one of these recycling bins in your local Salvos Stores

4. RECYCLE YOUR MOBILES

What did you do with your last mobile phone? Chuck it in the bin? Is it still sitting in your beside table drawer? Mobile phones that ens up in landfill are not only non-biodegradable  but they also contain some substance that can potentially harm the environment if not disposed of correctly. But worry not! Over 90% of the materials (metals and plastics) used in a mobile are recyclable and can be reused to make new products. Mobile Muster partnered with Salvos Stores and now you can find a recycling bin is every store. Better yet, they donate $2 to Salvos Stores for every kg received from our stores.

Q&A with the Salvos Stores Volunteer Program Manager

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Salvos Stores relies on our amazing volunteers to function as we do. Have you ever thought about who looks after our ‘vollies’? We have a whole team! Today we’re talking to the Volunteer Program Manager who heads up the team that organise and looks after all of our volunteers on a day to day basis. Introducing, Steve Cassar.

What brought you to working at Salvos Stores?

I have been very fortunate enough to work with some large corporate retailers and after 28 years I decided it was time for me to give back to the community by working in the not for profit sector.

After a successful tenure for approximately 3 years at the Australian Red Cross as General Manager Retail Operations, I decided to explore opportunities with The Salvation Army, as their work has always been a real inspiration to me.

How long have you been with us?

I have been with Salvos Stores for nearly 2 years.

Describe a typical day at work for you.

A typical day for me would be best described as organised chaos as there are so many facets to this unique role!

My absolute focus is to best support our number one client – our fabulous store teams which of course includes our amazing volunteer workforce.

A “typical day” can include – answering calls form store teams and providing appropriate advice, organising Work For The Dole placements with job providers, supporting volunteer traineeships, supporting and providing advice to Area Managers and Store Managers, responding to volunteer applications, working with suppliers and contractors, working with various government agencies on various projects etc.

What’s your Favourite part of working with Salvos Stores?

My favourite part of my job is, my contribution goes towards to help the vulnerable who are less fortunate than me.

I had the honour and privilege of meeting Major Brendon Nottle nearly 2 years ago where I got to witness first -hand the amazing work of The Salvation Army .The Salvation Army Café at 69 Bourke Street for the vulnerable has left an everlasting impression in my life.

Describe your job in 3 words:

  1. Exhilarating
  2. Challenging
  3. Rewarding

Do you have any funny/interesting stories from your time with Salvos Stores?

It was early January 2015, 37 degrees (felt like 45 degrees) and I was doing a store support day (glutton for punishment) at our Mount Eliza store, where the stockroom was filled to the brim with donations.

On this particular day there was the assistant manager, one volunteer, heaps of customers and me! The Volunteer held the fought at the register, the Assistant Manager was filling the store with much needed stock and I was sorting the piles from the back.

I thought to myself, this won’t be hard, I will get stuck in and within an hour of sorting the stock we will be all good. An hour passed by and so did nine car loads of donations, and by now it felt like 60 degrees!

Well I thought to myself I have had worse than this; I will have this sorted within an hour. An hour passed by and you guessed it, more cars and now even trailers were coming in thick and fast and the stock was spilling outside!

Four hours later I celebrated with a roar, as I could finally see some of the floor in the backroom! Boy did I have a good night sleep that night!

What has been your most rewarding moment?

Very difficult question, however I would have to say seeing our first group of volunteers receive their traineeship certificates at our Rowville Victoria store recently – knowing I had a small part to play in putting the program together, and seeing the volunteers work so hard over 6 months to complete the course was a thrill to me personally.

On a personal level receiving The Manager of The Year Award for 2015, was one of my proudest moments with Salvos Stores, especially when I am so fortunate to work amongst so many professional and dedicated team members.

What’s the last thing a customer said to you?

“I just love coming here, the staff and volunteers are always smiling and there is always something interesting to buy” – Rowville Customer

Thanks so much for chatting with us Steve!

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The Volunteer Program Team: Steph, Kanako & Steve