Waikanae Baptist Opshop - Volunteer Story Comp 2022

A BAND OF BAPTISTS – Some of the greatest volunteers in Kapiti!

I’m not the only lonely person who goes into the Baptist’s Op Shop on the off-chance of diversion or a bargain. Sometimes I come out empty-handed…but always feeling better. These volunteers are good listeners, and their warmth and generosity is spread far and wide, throughout the Kapiti region and beyond. They have become an excellent source of information and guidance for new-comers to the district; and are always ready to listen if your day is not the best.

My family live elsewhere – but they always pop into the “op shop” if they’re feeling lucky. Because this is where you find the size needles you need, a spare frying pan for a camping holiday, and little clothes that might fit that new baby. Regular customers come especially for the handknitted and dainty new baby booties and cardigans. These are regularly knitted for the op shop to sell by one or more of their angelic volunteers. You will find pretty cups and saucers, spare hobby glasses you need for your own projects; and remember there is a great collection of jam jars for the industrious. If you need some - just ask. Electrical goods are always tested, and functional, before sold; and everything is clean and tidy.

But the hard work and efforts of the op shop volunteers go well beyond the pre-loved clothing and books. These people disperse the money they make back into the community in a myriad of ways. The food banks in Otaki, Waikanae, Paraparaumu, local families in need, the House of Science, local womens’ refuge, expenses for youth guidance and support, even fruit for children at preschool. On a monthly basis, this Band of Baptists regularly contributes to both the Kapiti and the Otaki food banks. Everything else is decided at the 6 monthly meetings, as are the Blind Mission contributions - both here and overseas.

Donations to their shop are always appreciated. It ensures that thousands of dollars can go back into the community every month. Those busy Baptists might have to close the doors at 4pm - but there is always more work for these Valiant Volunteers when the doors are shut. Mondays are special, and the premises are firmly closed, while devoted men and women do the sorting, pricing and arranging of new goods arriving. The shop is then expertly tidied ready for Happy Tuesday...when fresh items are on display. Locals are really on to this! Then, at the end of each day, clothes are straightened on hangers, heavy goods brought inside, displays put to rights - and the cash counted. Yes, the cash!! - where does that go? The energy and cash of the Baptist Volunteers is like a blood transfusion for the people around the Kapiti district, and well beyond. Spreading help, hope and love in their quiet, tactful and sustainable way. There is food on tables, and warm clothes on people, and visits to specialists, that we will never know about. Warm blankets and dry feet. Bring it on!

Thank you so much, from the Kapiti District, to the whole Band of Baptist Volunteers… thirty-five….perhaps forty, and counting!!