Volunteering that “Pays” Off

Categories: People & Places.

Hospice shops around the provinces has been and still is one of the most self-sustainable sources of income. It requires the support from community members and the dedication of volunteers to make it successful. Today we meet two volunteers, Mignon Opperman & Sabine Nobre who have been actively involved in the Knysna Hospice shop for the past 2 years.

About Mignon

Mignon has been a resident of the Knysna community for the past 30 years. Coming from a tourism background, her engagement with people was always something she loved. “I always enjoyed meeting different people, especially those from different countries. Unfortunately when the tourism business closed down, Mignon found herself at home for a while but soon felt the urge to get out and do something worth her while, especially connecting with people again. She would often pass time by visiting the Knysna Hospice shop, hunting for bargains until one day she was approached by the store manager asking if she would consider volunteering.

For Mignon, this was the perfect opportunity to do something and at the same time get back to what she loves doing the most – engaging with people. Mignon now volunteers at the shop 3 times a week.

How did you find out about Hospice?

Two of her neighbours who were suffering from cancer at the time encountered hospice intervention. She saw the amazing work they were doing and it was at this time that she got to learn more about hospice and wanted to give back.

About Sabine

Sabine has been a resident of the Knysna community for the past 20 years. Being a housewife was not as fulfilling as she thought it would be as she wanted to do more with her life. She was invited by friends to meet the friendly people at the shop and later became part of the hospice family. Apart from the shop, she also volunteers at an old age home where she does hairdressing.

How did you find out about hospice?

Her mother, who was diagnosed with cancer decided to stay with her. It was during this time that hospice intervened by seeing to the needs of her mother. “I found hospice to be amazing. They were so good to my mom and took good care of her no matter what time of the day it was. It was the experience that wanted me to give back to hospice.” She added.

How are volunteers utilised in the shop?

Our hospice shop is divided into 2 sections:

1.      Floor staff – this involves our staff engaging with customers on the floor and is probably one of the most important roles. At this stage you want your customers to feel welcomed and already part of the family. It also opens up an opportunity to share with them what palliative care is about and how their contribution would help our patients.

2.      Marking Room – this is the “hub” of the shop where all the sorting, tagging & pricing takes place.

Knysna Hospice serves the community by providing palliative, home- based care and support for persons with progressive, incurable and chronic illnesses.

To learn more about Knysna Hospice, click here