Charlie digs deep for community pantry

Donating cash to help stock the community food pantry at Cire’s Yarra Junction Community Hub was a perfect fit for Warburton’s Charlie Pizarro-Gaultier

Charlie digs deep for community pantryCharlie, who owns vintage clothes shops in Warburton and Healesville and is the driving force behind the Warburton Community Opportunity Shop, is always striving to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

When he found himself with surplus vintage stock earlier in the year, and not needed by the op shop, he decided to have a $1 “fire sale” and donate the proceeds to a worthy cause. Aware of the many people doing it tough in the Upper Yarra particularly, he felt donating to the food pantry was a great way to provide support. Not only did the $490 donation directly benefit those in need but it supported Cire, whose values align with Charlie’s. The “fire sale” also helped reduce even more items going into landfill unnecessarily.

“It was a win-win all round’ said Charlie who has a background in social work and lives his life with a broad humanitarian brush through his sharply focused social justice lens.

Charlie digs deep for community pantryHumble about his giving and reluctant to be profiled, Charlie hoped that his donation might help encourage and inspire others. He believes everyone has a responsibility to do their bit and help others where they can, and that businesses have an obligation to contribute in some way.

While his Charley Horse Vintage shops at Warburton and Healesville are doing well, equally important to him is the Warby Community Op Shop. Sales through the shop help support the needs of vulnerable women and others needing a hand up, the local CFA and Upper Yarra Wildlife Refuge.

 “The level of socio-economic disadvantages experienced by many people in the Upper Yarra and the constant risk of homelessness often falls under the radar. It doesn’t take much for people’s circumstances to change dramatically,’” Charlie added.

Charlie hopes to develop the op shop into a hub of support and referral where people have a sense of belonging and connection and can access support and referrals in a welcoming and safe environment. Currently, its main focus is clothing, with any quality donations welcome, with the hope of also expanding to include furniture.

For anyone interested in donating quality clothing, The Warby Community Op Shop, at 3459A Warburton Highway.  Is open Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdays.

Cire’s Community Hub at Yarra Junction also welcomes donations of non-perishable food which can be left at the hub or at reception at our Lilydale office.

Pictured: Cire’s Karina Stone and placement student Jenaya re-stock the pantry at the Yarra Junction Community Hub Karina; Charlie (inset).