Charity continues to spread in Otago

The list of charity stores in Otago continues to grow, with the opening of Charity Barns in Dunedin and Oamaru.

There are already about half a dozen stores in Dunedin alone which collect donations of clothing, electronics, furniture and books to raise funds for people in need, but there seems to be enough goodwill in the region to support yet another, organisation operators say.

Charity Barns is a Christchurch based non-denominational Christian charity administered by volunteers, which receives donated goods such as books, clothing, electronics and furniture, and gives about 50% of it away to needy people in the community.

The other half is sold to cover rent and other operating expenses.

However, founder Barry Hailes said the majority of funds raised for charity came from his Paint Exchange, which sells recycled paint from donors and landfills.

He said both the Paint Exchange and the Charity Barns grew out of his work running the Graffiti Buses Army, which worked to clean up graffiti around Christchurch.

"We got paint supplied to us by commercial businesses to help cover the graffiti. We got so much, we opened an exchange for recycled paint."

Funds are donated to Mary's Meals - an international organisation which provides daily meals in schools for more than 450,000 underprivileged children in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Mr Hailes said charity work was something he had taken up relatively recently.

"I'm 68, I'm Christian, I've got one foot in the grave, and while I've got time left, I want to do some good."

Society of St Vincent de Paul Dunedin Area Council president Nicky Waugh welcomed the charitable organisation to Otago.

"If it's going to do good for someone, then it's a good thing."

Otago Community Hospice funding and marketing co-ordinator Lyn Chapman said there was enough goodwill in Otago to support all the charities the region has.

"Op shopping is really trendy - vintage is in.

"The stigma of op shopping is way in the past."


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