Over the past 20 years, the weekly hospice garage sale, in Glenmore Drive, has taken on a life of its own and plays an important role in meeting day-to-day hospice expenses.
Christine Sanderson, who started the sales from her garage in Hauiti Drive, is still a regular Wednesday morning volunteer, as well as being a former home carer. She says she sometimes can’t believe how hospice has grown.
“There was one paid staff member when I started volunteering; now there are 20,” she says.
Tui House will provide a dedicated garage sale area, with a bespoke theme and where all goods will be undercover – a welcome improvement for volunteers who have often had to contend with the weather.
Garage sale manager John McEwing says a team of about 50 volunteers are involved in the weekly sales. As well as being on hand on sale day, they pick up and deliver goods throughout the district.
“The majority of volunteers are retired and many have been with us for many, many years,” John says.
“Some have had an experience with hospice and want to give back, while others just like to be involved in something they feel is worthwhile. We encourage the social side of being a volunteer – the morning teas alone make it worthwhile!”
The range of goods sold through hospice encompasses everything from books and toys to linen, electrical goods, whiteware, furniture and small machinery. Volunteers are involved in cleaning and repairing many of the items before they are put out for sale. Pre-Christmas is the busiest time of the year and it is not unusual for whole estates to be donated to hospice.
“People are incredibly generous and we are given some really fantastic goods. It can be an occupational hazard for volunteers, because we can find ourselves shopping instead of selling.”
John says the aim is to hold the first sale at Tui House on December 13 and there is talk of extending sale days to Thursdays and Fridays next year. He is also pleased that there will be added security, after a run of break-ins