From little things, big things grow

30 January 2020
Op shop area coordinator Martin Healey

By Nick Reid

Every year the team at the Hawthorn Sacred Heart Mission op shop tuck into a slice of chocolate ripple cake in celebration of the community they have fostered for more than eight years.

The tradition was started by shop manager, Martin Healey to recognise the shops one-year anniversary; a small act of gratitude for the community that helped get the shop up and running.

We are extending our love and gratitude (and a slice of cake) to Martin Healey, who has recently marked his 20th year with Sacred Heart Mission.

Martin has been integral to the growth of the Sacred Heart Mission op shops and has created a culture of love and acceptance throughout his staff, volunteers, donors and customers, that extends far beyond the doors of the Hawthorn store and into wider Sacred Heart community.

“Martin was instrumental in introducing many of the procedures, standards, prices and processes which still make our op shops such a success today, and there is no one who embodies the values of the organisation more,” General Manager Business Development Wade Piva says.

“Martin is one of the reasons we celebrate volunteer birthdays, he is the reason we have a volunteer Christmas party and the reason we always say, ‘thank you’ for every donation and every helping hand.”

Each op shop Martin opened has its own community and personality

Martin began at the original Grey Street op shop in St Kilda. In the words of Paul Kelly, ‘from little things, big things grow’, and almost single handedly Martin went on to open stores in Windsor, St Kilda East, South Melbourne, Elsternwick and finally Hawthorn, which he currently runs and manages while juggling his role as Area Coordinator, helping to supervise the Bentleigh, Elsternwick and Fitzroy stores.

Reflecting on his time at Sacred Heart Mission, Martin is proud of what each store has become and the significance they hold in the wider community.

“Within each shop, they have their own communities and personalities,” Martin says.

“It’s rewarding to see them evolve into the community hubs they are.

“Being in our store could be the only conversation customers could have all day. It could be the only smile they have all day. So it’s important that we spend time treating our customers and donors like they matter.”

Martin’s work is his passion

Martin’s empathy and understanding, as demonstrated above, has led him to make some long lasting contributions to the culture of all Sacred Heart Mission stores.

Hawthorn Store Assistant, Christine Jackson has worked with Martin for eight years, and says Martin’s work is his passion and he loves to work hard and have fun.

“Martin is so highly regarded and appreciated by all those who come into the Hawthorn op shop,” Christine says.

“His genuineness, compassion, empathy and general care as well as his capacity for fun, sets him apart from everyone else.”

Community is at the heart of everything we strive for at Sacred Heart Mission and champions of community values such as Martin help carry this through to be reflected in our op shops and customers who continue to support us.

If you are in the Hawthorn area please join with us in recognising Martin on this achievement by popping into the Hawthorn store to congratulate him in person!

For everything that you have done and for all that you do Martin, thank you!