Red Cross stores need hundreds more volunteers this holiday season


With International Volunteer Day approaching Sunday, New Zealand Red Cross stores are appealing for hundreds more volunteers to help during the holiday season and beyond.

Red Cross stores across the country are in desperate need of help as many long-term customers
volunteers worry about returning to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Retail Manager Talei Kitchingman says about 300 more people are needed to help keep the 46 stores well stocked and running smoothly. “We are very grateful to our
store volunteers who work overtime to support our teams, but we would love to
share the load.

She says that while securing enough helping hands has often been a challenge, as the
the pandemic continues and the situation of people may have changed, finding enough people has become a real struggle across the country.

“It’s understandable that some people are eager to return to volunteering in stores right now, or may not have the time available to volunteer like they did before. We are therefore looking for new volunteers who may be retired, studying or working part-time and who would like to contribute to their community. We follow all government COVID-19 guidelines to keep our employees and customers safe. “

Ms Kitchingman says people have been very generous in donating items to stores lately,
and with such demand, the lack of volunteers is impacting the stores. “We can’t get the stock out fast enough, we can’t present the stores the way we would like or provide the level of service that is needed. We could sell so much more.

She says Red Cross stores play many roles. “Our stores are a hub in many communities
where people can meet other people and buy affordable things for their homes. They also offer work experience for young people and job seekers, and they support environmental sustainability as donated goods are ‘recycled, reused and loved’.

The Red Cross store coordinator, Maree Brogan, was once a volunteer at the Rangiora store and now works at the Woolston store. Woolston needs 10 more volunteers and Ms Brogan is hoping more people will come forward soon. “The Red Cross team has become like family to me.

We all work for a good cause and we can all have a good laugh together. It really is
makes you feel like you’re giving back and doing something good for others.

New Zealand Red Cross Secretary General Sarah Stuart-Black said Red Cross stores are an important source of funding for their organization, which does humanitarian work, including supporting former refugees. and helping people in times of disaster.

Ms Stuart-Black says that while there has been a good response so far to appeals to store volunteers, especially students, much more is needed. “We have lots of volunteer opportunities, so if people aren’t interested in working in a store, they can volunteer in other areas, including helping resettle former refugees, distributing meals on wheels or by joining one of our disaster response teams. We encourage people to contact us and try volunteering.

Send an email to [email protected]

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