CLARE Valley Community Outreach (CVCO), is an umbrella covering many services benefiting the Clare Valley Region.
Formed in 1992 on a wave of spiritual awakening in the Clare Valley for all churches, the CVCO is now in its 26th year of operation.
Run entirely by volunteers, the CVCO gift shop, thrift shop and outreach, have helped many people.
Secretary of the CVCO and manager of the gift shop, Jan Trengove, has been a part of the life-changing outreach for 20 years.
Jan admits not only has the outreach touched many troubled lives, but the volunteers have also been touched through the work they do in the community.
“The entire CVCO is incredibly important within the community, people may come in to purchase a card or something similar, and find an opportunity to open up for a chat and share their problems,” she said.
The CVCO was originally set up to help the youth, which it successfully continues to do today, along with the thrift shop on Burton Street, which sells simple household and clothing necessities at a cheap price.
The gift and book shop, which is located in the Clare mall, is run by more than 45 volunteers, and stocks a large range of Christmas gifts including beautifully-illustrated books telling the story of Jesus’ birth, Christmas CDs and DVDs, nativity sets, Christmas decorations, angels and Christmas cards.
Any profits made from the thrift shop and gift shop go straight back into programs to help school children, youth and adults, who need a helping hand.
Funds are also given to local churches and the CVCO also supports the Mental Health Volunteers Support Program which works with the Clare Medical Centre.
“The CVCO has been involved with this for 10 years and simply involves taking people out for shopping, appointments or just spending time in companionship,” Jan said.
The Clare Christian Emergency Relief is purely funded by the CVCO, and operates by giving people in need food vouchers, medical support and transport to and from medical appointments.
The list of support the CVCO puts back into the community is endless, also funding youth from the Clare Valley to attend Kid’s Camp Out (KCO), and supporting the Blyth community net.
Year 12 students at Clare High School are also not forgotten, with the CVCO putting on a barbecue breakfast for them every year.
“It is the church’s way of saying well done to the students at the end of a hard year,” Jan said.
So if you are after that special Christmas gift for a loved one, or you simply want a chat, pop in to the CVCO gift shop and visit Jan or one of the other friendly volunteers.