Trader Spotlight: Red Cross
More than just a used clothing shop, The Red Cross is an organisation that contributes a large portion of funds to its humanitarian activities. The red cross symbol means “impartial assistance is available to anyone who needs it, with no discrimination.” Sam Szeredi (left in below image) works as Manager at the Glenferrie Red Cross retail store with 20 odd volunteers who work together to run the shop, keeping it up to visual merchandising standards, providing exceptional customer service and sorting through donations.
Sam started out as a regular customer of the Glenferrie and Camberwell Red Cross shop and was often encouraged by the staff to volunteer. Eventually she took up the offer and after 18 months of volunteering in Camberwell she b e c a m e Manager of the Glenferrie shop in March 2017. What Sam loves most about her position here is the “fashion aspect and day-to-day interactions with wonderful volunteers and customers.”The volunteers vary from high school and university students to retirees. Sam’s colleague Anne (right in image), is one of the longest standing volunteers at the Glenferrie shop and has been there since it opened in 2009. The diversity of Glenferrie often brings many different people into the shop from families to students. Sam and volunteers often see many regulars with the main demo- graphic being women. The shop mostly caters to women’s clothing but there is a small men’s section as well as sections for books, movies and home wares. Not just a used items shop, around 30% of their stock is new and has been purchased by the Red Cross merchandise department or donated by shops during season changes.
Sam has spent time in Glenferrie Hawthorn for 10+ years and now that she works here, with her husband she often has Friday date nights in the area. Trying out all the different restaurants, most recently having gone to Quinti and Dumpling King, she thinks the “variety is great!” She is also getting to know more of the local traders, with Anne she often frequents Short Straw and La Tropezienne. Also part of a local choir group, Star Chorale, who rehearse at Methodist Ladies College, Sam recently had the chance to rehearse at the Hawthorn Arts Centre. Having the opportunity to do this Sam was able to see how much the arts precinct has improved over the years and how lucky Glenferrie Hawthorn is to have such a great space. With 95% of Red Cross shops’ workforce being volunteers, they are always looking for new people to recruit.
Other opportunities to help include donations which can be dropped off in store, in the donation bin outside or during Donation Drives held throughout the year with the current one being Spring Cleaning held September to October.
To get involved visit www.red- cross.org.au/shopvolunteer or stop in to chat with Sam or any of the other helpful volunteers.