Meet the faces behind Blue Care garage sales
Your Story by Robyn Moody:
THE Blue Care Auxiliary is a real community operation. All goods are donated by members of the community, the workers are all volunteers and every cent of the money raised stays here in Gladstone.
It is used to provide extras for the residents of Hibiscus Gardens and Edenvale Nursing Homes, Meals on Wheels and the Blue Care Nurses who visit the sick and elderly in their homes.
The sales are held once a month in the form of a giant Garage Sale spanning Friday 7am to 3pm and Saturday morning.
The date of the sale is displayed on the Philip side of the building.
This month's sale is on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th June.
Many of the volunteers are retired and some are in their 80s.
They meet on a Tuesday morning to sort and price the huge amount of goods kindly donated by the people of Gladstone.
Val could probably be described as the matriach of the Blue Care Auxiliary.
This year marks her 35th year with the Auxiliary. She was one of the original ladies who founded the Auxiliary and the Garage Sales began all those years ago at the home of one of the other foundation members.
They began by selling plants, baking and odds and ends and were so successful that bigger premises were soon needed and the move to the current site occurred.
Over her many years Val has tackled all sorts of tasks and still to this day she can be found every Tuesday helping to sort and price the many crockery and bric-a-bac items we receive.
On Garage Sale days she helps to man the sales desk and has become a familiar face to our many loyal customers.
She was made a Life Member many years ago and remains a very valuable member of our group and hopefully will do for many years to come.
Pam is our current President and can be likened to a female version of the Scarlet Pimpernal in that they seek her here they seek her there.
The role of President requires a person who leads by example and Pam certainly does just that.
She is willing to turn her hand to anything and is a regular little busy bee, flitting from one task to another and never still.
Pam loves to entertain people and when we hold our twice yearly fashion parades at a local retirement home can be found dancing among the tables of residents to the beat of whatever music is playing at the time.
The oldies love her as do we. This will be her 18th year as a member and apart from when she and her partner have been travelling she is a regular attendee.
She is good at problem solving and if ever there should be any sort of dissention amongst members, her attitude is along the lines of "Life is too short - get over it " and it always seems to work. She is a gem.
Another Life Member, Judy has been with us for 26 years this year. Judy is another lady who will willingly turn her hand to anything and does so with the best of grace.
She is what I would term to be a "buffer" in that she is adept at smoothing over any difficult moments which may crop up in a calm and pleasant way.
On a Tuesday she can be found sorting and pricing clothing which arrives at our centre in huge amounts.
When she is not doing this, she can be found weilding the iron or helping with the morning tea etc. Judy would be one of the kindest most thoughtful people you could ever find and her whole demeanour has a very calming effect on those around her.
Mind you she has been known to "blow her top" at times but this is a very rare occurrence and she is soon over it.
On Garage Sale days she helps in a variety of ways, often relieving on the sales tables and organising the morning tea and lunch breaks for everyone.
She is a much loved and treaured member of the Auxiliary and an example to us all.
Merle is also a Life Member and this is her twentieth year with the Auxiliary.
She first joined as a way of saying Thank-you to the Blue Nurses for all the wonderful help they gave to her just before she was confinded to a wheel chair.
Their care extended over a period of some fourteen months and she appreciated it so much that she felt she wanted to give something back.
Like Judy she can be found sorting and pricing clothes and on Garage Sale days joins Val on the sales desk.
She has seen the regular customers attend for all these years and recently was delighted when one of her nephews' sons married a girl who she can remember coming in to the sales as a little toddler with her mother.
Merle has found that while volunteering at times can be hard work, she is more than rewarded by the wonderful friendships she has found at the same time.
As with all operations of this nature, many goods received are not suitable for resale and a considerable amount has to be dumped.
Paying the dumping fees reduces the amount raised each year.