Too many to count – the Trading Post has made a big impact in the Mahurangi community.
There are just three more Wednesdays until the Mahurangi Community Trading Post closes its doors for the last time, on June 30 at 4pm.
The store, on the corner of Whitaker Road and Mill Lane, started three years ago with a core group of 15 volunteers led by Trevor Hoey. The mission was simple: “Everyone must be volunteers and all the funds raised must be returned to the community.”
Since then, the Trading Post has donated more than $400,000 to 115 local organisations. Secretary Desiree Hoey says when the store began, volunteers knew it would be a lot of work, but they hadn’t realised the extent of the need in the community.
“We asked the founding volunteers to commit to two years of work, and they’ve done that and beyond,” she says.
Trevor got to the stage where he was working three days a week for the store.
“People kept turning up to his work at Mitre 10 to talk about the shop, and eventually he had to make the call to leave his job.”
Between 300 and 400 customers visit the store each Wednesday. Over the years, the Trading Post has been fortunate to have volunteers sign up to help in store.
However, Desiree says about 80 per cent of the work takes place during the week, outside of the store’s opening hours, including collecting, delivering, sorting, pricing and cleaning.
Aged volunteers have been struggling to make deliveries or pick-ups of large items such as sofas.
“We had a ‘no stairs’ policy for deliveries, but if it was for a pensioner on their own, it often couldn’t be helped,” Desiree says.
Desiree says the Trading Post team has been grateful for the donation of high-quality goods over the years which has led to the store’s runaway success.
She says for volunteers it has been rewarding having customers come in and thank them for their contribution, whether it was for a children’s sports team or for a social service changing lives.
“We have a debrief at the end of the day, and we share these stories with the team.”
On June 30, the Trading Post will celebrate its success with its customers with cake. Over the next few weeks, there will be discounts on the store’s already low-priced goods.