One week after the Global Ripple OpShop was devastated by fire, the much-loved charity is rising from the ashes on a wave of support from the local community.
With the shop’s premises in the Byron Industrial Estate lying in smouldering ruins last Tuesday, founder Jacqui Boyett and her team were left without a shred of stock and nowhere to go.
Now they have secured a 12-month lease for a new space that is, literally, just down the road.
‘We’re alive again,’ Ms Boyett told The Echo.
‘To go from how we were feeling at the beginning of last week after the fire, to being where we are now… I really feel that we’re being held by the community and looked after by someone upstairs.’
Now next to Bunnings
The charity’s new home is in a warehouse at 2 Grevillea Street, right next to Bunnings.
The space will be open to begin receiving donations of pre-loved items at their new home by this Thursday, with an eye to being fully up and running in the new year.
They have already received incredible support from the community, including financial donations to their GoFundMe campaign, in-kind donations from across the Shire, and a mountain of messages and support.
‘The biggest thing has been the support from everyone…it’s picked me up,’ Ms Boyett says.
‘Just to give you an example, we‘ve had other op shops in the Shire offering to provide us with racks and hangers. I mean they could be looked at as our competitors. It just shows the spirit in this community.’
Global Ripple’s phoenix-like rise also means that they will be able to continue supporting the local and international charities that rely on their help to continue operating.
‘Some people don’t realise that Global Ripple isn’t a church-run op shop, but actually a private charity that raises money for a whole range of other charities,’ says another member of the Global Ripple team, Chrissie Klements.
‘The most important thing for us, pretty much as soon as it happened, was to try and get up and running as quickly as possible so we could keep supporting those groups.’
In aid of this same goal, Global Ripple will be holding a fundraiser at the Stone & Wood brewery in the Byron Industrial Estate on the afternoon of December 23.
Running from 4–6pm, the fundraiser will include a charity auction of items provided by local businesses.
‘We’d love a few local businesses to come forward and donate an item or two that we can sell at the auction,’ organiser Jenni Scarpella said.
Meanwhile, enquiries are continuing into what started the December 5 blaze.
The Echo understands that fire investigators attended the Global Ripple site last week but are yet to finalise their investigation.
In addition to destroying Global Ripple’s space, the fire also gutted Byron Taxis, which shared the same building and the nearby Suby cafe.
Firefighters were able to subdue the blaze before it spread to a neighbouring apartment block.