Debbie has been running the Premier Brands Outlet in Minchinbury for three and a half years. She recently gave a wonderful donation of brand new clothes to Bonnie’s.
I’ve worked in retail for 23 years, at all the different levels. I started managing Premier Brands Outlet in the Western suburbs about three and a half years ago.
I realised the Western suburbs can get quite a bad rap, but there’s a lot of people here trying their hardest. They’ve got a lot of heartache, a lot of sorrow, a lot of everything. And they just cannot get on top. Some people do just need an extra helping hand to get back on their own feet.
Wanting to do something, I contacted the owners (Hot Springs) and asked, ‘Do you mind if I start branching out and start helping in the community?’ They said, ‘No problem Deb, do it as if it’s your own.’
When the women saw the clothes they were genuinely surprised. One woman, who’s living in a garage while heavily pregnant, began to cry. She said that she was just trying to keep afloat, that she had not gotten anything for the baby, and these were the first baby clothes she had for her child.
The reaction at Bonnie’s when they passed the clothes along to the women, as described by Lucy.
Now we do things like food hampers for local families, and fundraising shopping nights for the school, as well as donating clothes. My staff are 100% supportive, we pack the donation boxes together. And the customers have really jumped on board too – some of them have actually commented that it makes coming in here even better.
It can be exhausting, but it’s very rewarding at the same time. People can become so overwhelmed when they receive something that can often be taken for granted, and you see how the simple things in life can be so valuable to others. For example, West Connect were very low on pyjamas. I gave one of the ladies a box of donations and she goes, ‘Is this all for us?’ I went, ‘Yeah’, and she just cried. She’d never had new pyjamas before.
The clothes I gave to Bonnie’s were all brand new, a mixture of things. I put in some really nice ladies’ dresses as well – they might have looked a bit too dressy – but I thought, ‘When the women get back in to the workforce, a lot of them don’t have something really nice to wear.’
A big thank you to Debbie! After her first wonderful donation she’s already thinking of ideas for Christmas packs…
Drop in and see Debbie and the team at 40 Archbold Rd, Minchinbury.
Open Monday – Saturday, 9-4
Suggested by Lucy.
Debbie on the left