They never expected to be spending their retirement years this way, but for Bob and Dawn Blizard an ADRA Op Shop has become an almost all-consuming passion.
From its humble beginnings way back in 1990, Bob and Dawn have stayed with the ADRA Op Shop in Bindoon, WA, through thick and thin.
“Our local church wanted to start recycling clothes and items,” says Dawn, “and from there it was decided to open a shop. And it’s still here today.” And so are Bob and Dawn – never did they anticipate they’d be part of an op shop, let alone volunteer with one for so long.
Their op shop is located on the Great Northern Highway heading north east into West Australia. The route is popular with tourists, but more than that the shop has become a destination in its own right. On weekends the shop becomes a melting pot of personalities.
When asked what she enjoys most about working at the op shop Dawn doesn’t even think twice, “you get to meet some really interesting people.”
What makes their op shop special?
“We like to keep our shop neat and tidy,” says Bob. “That’s what most people comment on when they see our shop.” It’s a comment heard often in ADRA’s network of op shops across the country.
After such a longstanding presence in their local community it’s no surprise the ADRA Op Shop in Bindoon has gained a bit of a reputation – a good one that is.
“Our op shop is now the community op shop – they’ve claimed it,” laughs Dawn. “People call it the social centre of Bindoon.”
As the managers of the op shop, Bob and Dawn are blessed with a hardworking staff of 21 volunteers who are dedicated to serving their community. So dedicated, some will often come in on a Sunday when they’re not even rostered on, “Sunday is a fun day,” says Dawn.
Unassuming and humble as always, Bob and Dawn don’t seek any accolades for their 22 years of service. “We’ve always just done what was in front of us,” says Bob.
ADRA would like to send a huge THANK YOU to Bob and Dawn – you have done, and are doing, an incredible job serving your local community and continuing ADRA’s ministry here in Australia.
To all our volunteers we say thank you for the countless hours of effort you’ve poured into your op shops and projects, and for being an inspiring example of Christ-like service.