Take what they need: Why this humble Tauranga op-shop doesn't price its items
Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
In a humble little op-shop in Tauranga, boxes are piled up, overflowing with generosity from the community.
Clothes spill from the cardboard cartoons, but the abundance is also something of a burden.
The Pregnancy Choice Centre Koha Shop doesn’t price its items - people simply take what they need and koha [donate] what they can.
Shop manager Catherine Hosking said they wanted people to feel valued when they came in, and to take pride in the quality of their products.
”There’s good things there for them, regardless of how much of a donation they give.
“We do things with excellence and quality, even in a shop [where we don’t] have prices on our items.”
She said they had recently been inundated with items.
”We’re continually getting new donations, which just adds to the amount that we have.”
Hosking said they needed to clear their winter stock in preparation for summer. Anyone and everyone visited the store, but Hosking said it was a blessing to help people in times of need.
“They often come in asking for warm blankets and warm jumpers because they’re sleeping in their car, they’re sleeping rough.
“We’ve had some [customers] who, due to unfortunate circumstances at home, [have] had to leave, and they don’t have anything for themselves or their children”.
She said because of low volunteer numbers, they had cut down the number of days they’re open.
”That doesn’t deter us or stop us from doing it, because we really believe in what we’re doing and helping the community.”
Hosking said they were now calling on that same community for help.
“I guess it kind of sounds funny - we need help to shop.
“Without a push or more people hearing about the shop, we probably won’t get through the stock.”
She said the last thing they’d want to do is throw good things away, but if they couldn’t find another organisation to take the excess stock, they may have to consider the option.
Despite the overflow, Hosking said donations were still welcome.
”We don’t want to stop receiving donations because that’s how we supply the store. To run an op-shop, you need donations.
“We just need to see more stuff getting out”.
The koha shop, located on the corner of Eleventh Avenue and Christopher Street, is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-4pm.
Donations are welcome during business hours.
Hero Image: Catherine Hosking is the manager of Pregnancy Choice Centre Koha Shop. Photo / Alex Cairns