Riverina children's charity Country Hope opened a new shop at Albury's City Walk Arcade on Thursday.
The retail space and office provides support services to families of children who have been diagnosed with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
Donated handmade toys, arts and crafts sold at the shop generate proceeds that go towards helping families who suddenly find themselves in need of financial assistance after their children become sick.
Howlong's Kristy McMahon, whose daughter Ella was diagnosed with bone cancer when aged eight years, has been appointed North East and Border regional coordinator.
"It's a hub for people to come in and learn about Country Hope, who we are, and what we do, and why it's important to support kids and their families going through serious illnesses and hard times," she said.
Mrs McMahon provides family support, plans advocacy projects for more children's health care and organises fundraisers.
Country children diagnosed with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses are often sent directly to Melbourne or Sydney for treatment, with fewer local treatment options available.
Sometimes parents leave their jobs and families pack up their homes and head to the city for an indefinite period of time as their child receives treatment.
Four-year-old Mason Ryall was diagnosed with cancer just after his fourth birthday.
"They found a tumour in his kidney, and that same night we got the diagnosis here in Albury, we were flown down to Melbourne to start chemotherapy and undergo treatment," his mum Lauren Ryall said.
Country Hope general manager Ellie Webb said bringing a new hub to central Albury meant it was more convenient for families to access services.
The charity previously had a branch in Lavington serviced by staff in Wagga.
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However, it was shut down during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Country Hope is seeking volunteers to work in the shop. The charity is also calling on the community to donate high quality, handmade goods.
Founding board member and Albury deputy mayor Steve Bowen has been actively involved with Country Hope since 2003.
"Country Hope wants to look after children and their families 365 days of the year," he said.
"It's not about just one camp a year. It's about day-to-day living, support, and help for everyday needs."
The organisation has existed for about 18 years and supports more than 100 families at any given time.
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