Volunteer Spotlight – Gill Hilder

We caught up with one of our stellar volunteers, Gill, who works at our Warrane City Mission Op Shop. Gill has been a key player in organising the annual Warrane Fashion Parade too, which has grown in leaps and bounds! She shared her experience of volunteering at Hobart City Mission with us. 

1. How did you get involved with HCM ?

Well, that’s a good question. One of my three daughters was looking on the internet one night when we first moved down from Sydney back in 2013. She saw an ad on Seek.com for volunteers at Hobart City Mission. I had been a stay at home mum for a while so it was a good way to gain new skills and get out in to the workforce again. I was a bit nervous at my first interview but I really knew I wanted to give it a go and I just love it! My husband jokes sometimes about how much time I spend at the Op Shop!

2. How long have you been volunteering with HCM ?

I started back in winter 2013 at Warrane City Mission Op Shop and have not looked back since.  The first time I walked inside the store it just felt like home. It’s a little store but it’s really nice and feels comfortable. Don’t get me wrong some big windows to do displays would be amazing but other than that is just perfec! We recently got a new Point of Sale system which is even better because we can really tell what is selling well and what is not. It helps us to make sure we have the items that customers in our area like to buy.  

3. Which of the HCM values do you think represents you most?

I really love them all. HCM appealed to me over all the other organisations because I could see the real good work it was doing in the community. It’s still small enough for it to feel like a family and everyone cares about improving the lives of people less fortunate. The money raised through the Op Shops really makes a difference. I am so passionate in helping others.   Passion (we are inspired to assist those in need regardless of circumstance and stature)  

4. What things about volunteering to you enjoy the most?

I think it’s the customers that I like the most. Some of our customers come in the same time each week, and sometimes they just want a chat or to tell you how they are feeling. The shop is like a community hang-out sometimes (I joke and say we need a coffee machine!) Oh and the team, we have the best group of like-minded volunteers – we are like a big family. The Warrane fashion parade came about from us volunteers just talking about how we could improve sales and get the community involved in the shop. The Warrane Fashion Show is now in its third year and I think we had 60-70 people at the last one. It was a blast and we just love all the organising beforehand and parading the outfits.  

5. What has been your best Op Shop Purchase ?

I think the best thing I have found is a ceramic dog (his name is Fred Bassett). When I pulled it out of the bric-a-brac box I just knew it was coming home with me. He sits on the floor in my TV room and I just love the way he looks up at me. I also love all the old tea cups and crockery, it always reminds me of my Grandmother. She was English and would always put on the best morning teas and cooked the best roast ever. I am sure I will find something else soon that will be my new favourite purchase but for now, Fred is it, for sure.