More than just a ‘charity shop’

Categories: Community Engagement.

Helderberg hospice currently have 4 charity shops which includes 1 pop up store.We had the privilege of visiting one of the stores, ‘2nd Debut’ to find out more about it and how they operate. Managed by Florence Mavhunga and Louise Smith, the charity shop has been a huge success and a great model that other hospices can use in coming up with ways to bring in solid income and sustainability to the hospice.

The shop which is located in Helderberg and run by a team mainly consisting of staff and some volunteers, sells merchandise such as clothing, books and furniture to members of the community and outside the community.They offer a personalised service to the community in that they know almost every customer that walks in on a first name basis, and they also keep a standard that is very high in terms of what they sell.

Florence sorts through all the donations they receive and makes sure that only the best quality items are kept and sold, because it’s more a quality over quantity aspect and they don’t want the shop to be associated as a ‘junk shop’ with a lot of merchandise, but not necessarily quality merchandise.

All of the merchandise is donated and sometimes their customers even give an extra donation to support the work of hospice and particularly Helderberg hospice, especially if the person was personally touched by hospice.

It is almost like their way of giving back and saying thank you for the positive ways that hospice has touched their lives.

The shops raised R2.6 million last year for Helderberg hospice and they were so proud of this very hard-working team (and extremely grateful to those who donate to the shops so regularly).

 “A charity shop is a fairly unique thing in Helderberg, so at first it was difficult to get the concept across, however now the locals fully understand the concept and we are very popular throughout the year, getting donations almost every day including on a Saturday,” explained Louise Smith.

Support from the local community has been substantial and the shops have been getting a great deal of good media representation from newspapers and radio.

Helderberg hospice’s aim has always been to ensure the availability of affordable and acceptable palliative care services throughout the Helderberg and surrounding areas. It seems that this great charity shop/s is one innovative way that they have used to realise this goal.

Read more about how you can help Helderberg hospice charity shops at: www.helderberghospice.org.za

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