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Secondhand sales help provide first homes

Chris Winter’s volunteer hours help put roofs over kiwi heads
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Volunteers selling new and recycled goods at a Lower Hutt store are helping to fund roofs over the heads of kiwis.

National charity Habitat for Humanity has opened the Wellington region’s first ReStore shop in Lower Hutt.

Its huge 1000 square metre site on the corner of Daly and Margaret Streets was previously home to Storage Box which has moved to nearby High Street.

Because of the amount of available space, the store is able to stock large items including secondhand office furniture, which otherwise would often end up in a landfill, manager Lorraine Sheenagh says.

Manager, Lorraine Sheenagh, inside the huge Lower Hutt ReStore shop

It’s proved popular with local small business and other not-for-profit organisations which have been able to replace their old office furniture with something a little more modern.

As well as the more usual stock of clothes, toys and bric-a-brac there are DIY products and carpet offcuts.

People can bring in items to donate, and the store has a pickup and delivery service.

Great volunteers

The store has two paid staff plus 55 volunteers.

Two of the volunteers, Pete Collinson and Chris Winter, spend up to five days a week in the store’s delivery truck.

Volunteer truck driver Chris Winter, right, and helper Pete Collinson outside the new ReStore shop in Lower Hutt

Technically still seeking paid work when the store opened earlier this year, Chris turned up and asked if he could help as a volunteer.

He started out driving the delivery truck two days a week. That expanded into five as the store collected donated stock to fill its huge site.

Chris and Pete collect donated items and deliver purchases around the Hutt Valley, Wellington and Porirua, areas Chris knows really well, a benefit for the new store. In May he was named the store’s volunteer of the month.

I love working here, the staff are really cool,” Chris says.

“It has a real community feel here which helps with having such great volunteers,” says Lorraine.

One of 20 ReStores

The Lower Hutt store, which opened in March, is the eighteenth in the country’s network of 20 ReStores.

Shelves of soft toys, each hand-washed by a volunteer, are among the wide variety of stock

Secondhand office furniture like this has proven a hit with local not-for-profit organisations

Habitat for Humanity is a national charitable organisation. Since 1995 it has been working with people towards its vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Habitat follows a hand up, not a hand out philosophy through all its work in New Zealand.

Housing poverty has a well-documented and major negative effect on families. Habitat believes in simple, decent housing that creates a lasting and positive impact, for communities, across generations.

Responding to housing poverty

Habitat responds to housing poverty across New Zealand with a range of programmes including assisted home ownership, rental properties and a home repair service.

Internationally, Habitat New Zealand has a focus on the Pacific and has projects under way in Samoa, Tonga and Fiji providing disaster resilience and rebuilding to those affected by weather events.

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For more information:

Go to their website click here

Lower Hutt’s ReStore is at 15 Daly Street in the city centre. Open Mondays to Saturdays.

Ph (04) 2807032

Email [email protected]

The store also sells some stock on Trade Me (HabitatHutt).

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