The Hamlin Shop in Sydney is run by a crew of dedicated volunteers. These big-hearted individuals are always busy packing online orders, serving customers in the gift shop and helping with fundraising. They come from a range of backgrounds and ages and all have a great enthusiasm for supporting the work of Catherine Hamlin.
Volunteers also go out into the community to give presentations about the work in Ethiopia, run merchandise stalls at events and they host group visits at our Sydney HQ.
And it's all done with a spring in their step, knowing that their efforts are helping to make a real difference.
Two of our long serving volunteers, Pip and Patricia, tell us about their journey.
"We became friends nearly five years ago when we started volunteering at Hamlin HQ. We share a passion for the cause and admiration for Reg and Catherine's work. So that was the foundation for what has become a wonderful friendship.
We've shared many Hamlin adventures, from public speaking at conferences and functions to running merchandise stands at public events in and around Sydney.
Our biggest adventure together saw us raise more than $22,000 and travel to Ethiopia in 2015 as part of the Great Ethiopian Adventure.
This was truly an adventure of a lifetime and broadened our understanding of the scope of Catherine's work. The trip exceeded our wildest expectations and firmly cemented our bond.
We've worked together in The Hamlin Shop for many years, and it's always so gratifying to talk to our customers. So many of them return to buy from us many times, and they all love supporting Hamlin with their purchases.
Our favourite things in the shop are the Keneni necklaces from the Bullets to Beads range.
We visited the collective in Addis where they're made, and saw first hand this amazing social initiative at work. In fact, we loved the place so much, we went twice! The jewellery is made from melted down bullet casings and other upcycled materials. The initiative supports women diagnosed with HIV, and provides them with employment and the means to support themselves and their families. Finding work in Addis would otherwise be impossible."
Shop the Bullets to Beads jewellery range here.