VINNIES Jimboomba, an institution some two decades in the making, will open its doors for the last time on Saturday.
The South Coast Diocese, which runs the store, says the search has commenced to find a new shop but it could be some time coming.
Staff and volunteers have spent the past weeks farewelling regulars as the shop prepares to close its doors.
It is one of a strip of shops in Jimboomba Shopping Centre, Cusack Lane, where it has made its home in a series of storefronts over the years, which is being redeveloped.
Taylor Oliver, Carley Burns, Lyndsey Collier, Robyn Raymond and Karen Scott are among the 30 volunteers who work at the store.
Ms Burns said she had been a regular browser before she joined Vinnies as volunteer about eight months ago to learn work skills.
“I’d come about once a week and just wander around,” she said.
“It was a place I’d come and relax and feel like a belonged for a while.”
Regulars have been making the trek to the store to say their farewells.
“We’ve had hugs and tears – every emotion you can imagine,” said volunteer supervisor Ms Collier.
Vinnies is one of a strip of shops that are being developed by the centre. They include a discount store that shut its doors some weeks ago and a vets surgery. Australia Post will move to empty storefront closer to Woolworths supermarket.
Regulars have posted messages of support to the store’s Facebook page.
“I just want to say how sad I am to see Vinnies Jimboomba is shutting down,” said one.
“I love this shop and the wonderful volunteers who work hard to keep it looking lovely and always smiling and friendly. It is the only large op shop we have. Hope you come back. Good luck to all the lovely volunteers. You all rock.”
South Coast Dioceses executive officer Kris Martin said the search had already commenced to find a new store but it could take some time.
“We’ve been heartened by the community support,” he said.
“Having been embedded with the community out there in Jimboomba, we’ve grown together. The community supports us and we support them.”
“I’ve seen some of the messages on Facebook. It makes us feel special.”
He said the Jimboomba storefront was far more than an op shop. It had 30 volunteers on its books, ranging from one who had worked there for about five months to others who had been there for 10 years.
“We’ve always had a great mix of people at Jimboomba. Some we help along the way go on to get jobs elsewhere, others come to learn life skills.
“It’s a great store and a real community hub for the people who shop there and work there. We’re doing all we can to focus on finding new premises. We don’t want to let people down. We want that store open.”
“We look forward to a future when we can return to a new store with a new modern fitout.”