Thursday 5th September is International Day of Charity. Officially declared by the UN General Assembly in 2012, today marks the 7th year of its celebrations.
International Day of Charity is observed around the world in order to raise awareness and encourage charitable giving and behaviour. The 5th September was initially chosen as the date commemorates the anniversary of the passing of Mother Theresa, who unselfishly dedicated her life to helping the world’s poor and destitute.
In order to celebrate International Day of Charity, MCM Net have been working on a Tonbridge Takeover – helping as many of our local charity shops as possible.
As a team of over 20 people, we knew we could put together an impressive stash of donations. Our items included clothes, games, shoes and accessories which we then split amongst a variety of the shops along the High Street. We hope that our donations will help the charities to raise some valuable funds for their causes.
Our resident fashion guru’s Ollie and Owen took on a challenge to find the best charity shop shirt. After perusing the rails, 2 shirts were purchased, 1 from Hospice in the Weald and the other from Scope Shopping for 2nd hand clothing is extremely important as not only does it support fantastic causes; it also helps with reducing waste. What a great way to bag a bargain!
For the past week, we have had members of the team giving their time to volunteer in shops up and down the Tonbridge High Street. Masha & Syan spent time at Demelza, Aindrea & Ollie helped out at MIND and Matt & Paige had the day at Sense, we also spent a couple of days at Hospices of Hope. As volunteers’ jobs included; sorting stock to check quality, checking toys had all the pieces, pricing items for sale, working the till and arranging window displays.
Here’s what some of them had to say about the experience:
“I had great fun volunteering this week, it was a nice break from the office, and I met a lot of nice people. I would highly recommend volunteering; it has been a very positive experience.
At the Tonbridge branch of Demelza, I was greeted by Theresa and Tracy. They were lovely hosts and made me and Syan feel very welcomed. We got experience working on the till, sorting the displays as well as assisting with other tasks around the shop. We even had a little impromptu ‘best dressed mannequin’ competition.
My second placement was at the Hospice of Hope charity shop. Linda and Alan were very friendly, after a brief health and safety talk, I was given a tour around the shop. I was entrusted with helping with a range of duties; such as, working the till, shop maintenance, assisting with sales, scanning and organising books and CDs on to the system.” – Masha
“It was great to volunteer at Mind and get to know the friendly team that runs the shop, sorting through and organising donated toys and books. It was really amazing to see how many donations they get every day. Part of our task was sorting through donations and as soon as we'd finish one lot, more would have turned up” – Aindrea
“I approached the two days spent volunteering in charity shops the same way I approach everything, with the mindset of a half-price Louis Theroux. We sorted through and organised toys and books, steamed clothes, and placed stock on the shelves.
So, what did I learn? I learnt how valuable the shops are to charities in terms of revenue, but also how valuable they are to the Highstreet, they were always busy with a consistent stream of donations and customers. I also learnt that it takes a handful of amazing, hardworking people to run a shop when the stock is a mystery, and you’re never sure what to expect.
Overall it was it was an interesting experience, where ultimately, we were able to relieve some of the strain on the staff, and hopefully contribute to the overall cause.” – Ollie
“We know how important the retail divisions are to charitable organisations, so it was great for us to be able to get involved and understand a bit more about their day to day operations. I really enjoyed being able to dedicate some time to helping in the local community and would encourage others to do so if they have the chance!” - Paige
"My time at the Demelza shop was great, and I greatly enjoying working alongside the other people and learning how to use the till! It was fun having conversations with some of the customers, and I would greatly recommend doing it to anyone who wants to earn a bit of life experience and interaction with a range of different people. We worked on the shop display, changing up the mannequins outfits, which was great fun! I also really enjoyed just looking around all of it, and had to walk out with a book.
Honestly, charity and second-hand stores are amazing even when just shopping, and the experience only improves once you know what it’s like to work behind the counter." - Syan
Back to blogs