A new East London charity shop is all set to make a safe house for battered women and children more self-sufficient.
Profits made by the Out of the Box charity shop, which opened for business in Old Transkei Road, Nahoon, on Wednesday will be used to subsidise welfare projects run by the Christelike Maatskaplike Raad (CMR) and give East Londoners a new bargain-hunting spot.
“In the UK there is a second-hand shop or charity shop on the corner of every high street. They can only make a profit because they get their stock for nothing,” said CMR manager Gaye Moonieya, who is the brains behind the shop, which once housed a cake supply store.
“We hate to throw away things in South Africa because of all the poverty and so this gives people an outlet for when they de-clutter. Also, I’ve always loved charity shops, especially their book sections.”
Moonieya said that following government subsidy cuts earlier this year, CMR was faced with cutting three social work posts and two social auxiliary posts, but decided to cover the salaries of these positions rather than retrench much-needed staff.
“We have been in existence since 1955 doing child protection work and we have to keep going.”
Besides running the large Victory House safe house for women and children who need shelter from domestic abuse, CMR is also responsible for a Home Food Security programme. Their vegetable-growing initiative oversees up to 2000 farmers in Reeston, Ducats and Mzamomhle. Some tend small backyard veggie patches for their own use, while others farm larger agri-plots and sell produce for their livelihood.
“The profits from our charity shop will continue the sustainability of our organisation and the work we do.
“CMR nationally is looking at people paying for family mediation and counselling and we will also have to look at a sliding scale of paying for some of our services, because we need to raise our own funding.”
Moonieya said besides generating income, charity shops also gave people dignity because they could afford to pay for things they need.
“This way they can buy something very cheap, like R10 or R15 for a shirt, plus we are also recycling items people no longer use.”
A quick glance around the brightly painted shop revealed a duvet for R40, a wooden jewellery box for R20, cushions for R8 and a child’s toy ironing board for R20.
Moonieya said donations of books, clothes, shoes and toys were welcome, and called on volunteers to help staff the shop, which is open daily from 9am to 4.30pm, and 9am to 12pm on Saturdays.
l To enquire about volunteering, call CMR on (043)722-6104 or consult the CMR East London Facebook page. — firstname.lastname@example.org