Dorcas Clothing raises serious funds for local and state charities

Campbell WilliamsonNarrogin Observer
Dianne Steward, Louise Cameron, Rosemary Smoker, Deb Morgan and Joanne McWilliams.
Camera IconDianne Steward, Louise Cameron, Rosemary Smoker, Deb Morgan and Joanne McWilliams.

Dorcas Clothing has raised $375,000 for charity since opening in the Wheatbelt seven years ago.

The not-for-profit first started in Narembeen in 2014, running from one of the rooms at the Church of Christ, where they provided affordable clothing and generous donations.

But with growing demand the store expanded to Narrogin in 2015.

Now operating in both locations, the store gives amounts of $2000 to about 50 local and State charities such as Alzheimer’s WA, Bible Society and Crawford House.

Dorcas Clothing owner Rosemary Smoker said it all started when the charity bins at the local IGA closed down.

“In Narembeen, which is where I live, the bins closed down in the IGA car park, so it meant that no one in town could put their stuff anywhere,” she said.

“I said something needs to be done, we’ve got to do something because people can’t put their stuff anywhere.”

During Dorcas Clothing’s early days in Narembeen, Ms Smoker served a lady from Narrogin who provided the inspiration for bringing the store to town.

“A lady walked in, looked around and said ‘wow, we need one of these in Narrogin’...and then she just walked off and left. That's all she said,” Ms Smoker said.

Dorcas Clothing.
Camera IconDorcas Clothing.

“The seed was planted and I thought, I’ll see if I can find a place in Narrogin.”

They have raised $375,000 since opening, with about $12,000 raised every month.

“We’re paying for rent and costs and stuff and that costs about $1000 a week, roughly, and the rest we can give away,” she said.

“I’m 61, I’ve got no kids at home and want something to do that’s worthwhile. If you don’t do something productive then you're wasting your time aren’t you?

“We’ve got 15 ladies that help us and they’re absolutely wonderful, they give up all their time.

“We like to sell stuff very cheaply so that people who are struggling can get things for next to nothing.”

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