Free shop 'growing'

Tane Duff, 44, has been running a free community shop in South Dunedin to help those in need for the last year. Photo by Samantha McPherson.
Tane Duff, 44, has been running a free community shop in South Dunedin to help those in need for the last year. Photo by Samantha McPherson.
Tane Duff has got his heart in the right place. The 44-year-old St Kilda resident decided to run a free shop out of his Bay View Rd home last year as a way of giving back to the community.

Mr Duff started the shop with a few clothes, plates, cups and books.

Thanks to the generosity of the community, stock levels quickly grew and it didn't take long for the room to become full of household items, books, Christmas trees, soft toys, baby clothes, kids and adult clothes and shoes.

''I wanted to do something to help the community. I made a sign and put it out the front of my house one day and gave people the option of dropping things off that they no longer needed. I thought it would have been a one-hit wonder, but it hasn't.

"It just keeps growing. The stock I have in the shop is there for people who need it,'' he said.

Mr Duff said he couldn't continue to do what he does without the help and generosity of the community.

''People dropping goods off for the shop is heartening. If I get bags of clothes, I always make sure they are in good condition and wash them before I put them in the shop.

"People even drop washing powder off for me. The same goes with jugs and microwaves. I always make sure they are cleaned and working before they go into the shop.

"I have a shed that is always kept full of goods and sometimes there are boxes all over my kitchen full of stuff to sort,'' he said.

A simple thank you from children and the smile on their faces when they pick up a soft toy out of the basket is what makes the venture worthwhile for Mr Duff.

''It's quite fun. Kids smiling when they choose a soft toy to take home - it really makes my day. It feels good helping those in need,'' he said.

But Mr Duff isn't the only one with the community at heart.

His brother, Kevin, has a shop in Douglas St, that specialises in household furniture including lounge suites, fridges, chairs and dining room tables. Donations are always welcome.

The No Money Community Shop, at 142 Bay View Rd, is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm every day, except Tuesdays. Donations are always welcome.

Do you know of any similar ''free shops''?
Email star.reporters@thestar.co.nz

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