by ROWENA OREJANA
AUCKLAND — The Society of St Vincent de Paul opened another shop on the North Shore in early June.
St Vincent de Paul volunteers said the shop, in Ellice Rd, Glenfield, is more cheerful,
has a lighter atmosphere and is more central.
“We really wanted something around Glenfield,” said Davina Kennedy, SVdP volunteer.
“We’ve been on the hunt for more than a year.”
Vivienne, a volunteer who asked not to be identified, said they looked for another location
because the lease on their Beachhaven shop was expiring.
“The shop in Beachhaven is actually getting a bit small. The lease is coming to an end. There’s no storage in the back, really,” she said. She added that it was difficult for
volunteers from Devonport, Takapuna and other parts of the North Shore to get to.
“So we looked for something more central. And we found this place. Most of the
other places were too expensive. They wanted huge rents for them. But the landlord here
bent over backwards to help us. He’s been very good.”
Mrs Kennedy said several big businesses around the area contributed paint and other construction supplies to get the shop ready by June 1. People also volunteered to
carry out the construction.
The society’s North Shore conference earlier planned to close down the Beachhaven shop after the lease expired.
But the shop’s regular customers asked that it be kept open. The lease had been renewed.
“We are running them in tandem at the moment,” said Mrs Kennedy.
The society is made up of conferences at the grassroots level. Funds raised from the
shops go to the poor and the needy.
“There are a lot of poor people in the North Shore,” said Vivienne of the Auckland suburb that is generally considered affluent. “People get redundant and lose their jobs. They get sick and can’t work. Terrible things happen to people,” she said.
Mrs Kennedy said they welcome volunteers to help, as well as pre-loved items to sell.
Those include clothing, shoes, bags, interesting collectables, kitchenware, linen, towels and
blankets, toys, games, books, music, glasses and jewellery.
The items must be in good condition, clean and ready to be sold. Patronage is welcome.
She said sometimes people would visit the shops just to talk. “We also offer companionship,”
said Mrs Kennedy.
Vivienne said prayer is good, but people need to do more. “We need to actively do things for the community. We need to look at each person and see God,” she said.