Charity Retailing Lures Two New Recruits
Samantha (Sam) Gray and Emily Dearsly have more in common than simply being Mercy Hospice stores' newest recruits. Each with a life long passion for second hand treasures, it was Mercy Hospices' community oriented philosophy and inspired business model that lured both Gray and Dearsly to accept the manager and acting manager role at Royal Oak and Ellerslie respectively.
Previously the owner of Marvel an iconic Ponsonby menswear store, a stint volunteering at the Mt Eden Hospice shop last year opened Gray's eyes to the world of charity retailing.
"I was ready for a career change and the Mercy stores being well run with a genuine purpose and need within the community impressed me. The respect and care that patients and their families receive made a huge impression on me and I knew this was where I wanted to work," says Gray.
With experience in recycle retailing Dearsly has found the transition to acting manager due to maternity cover at Hospice Shop Ellerslie an easy one.
"As an avid customer myself I have always held Hospice in high regard and jumped at the chance to apply for the manager's role. With my experience in recycle retailing, it's a perfect match," she says.
Both would agree the goodwill factor from the community is the backbone of the Mercy stores success.
"We are completely reliant on our community for stock and are grateful for the quality items we receive. With goods re-sold within our own stores we really are a truly community based retailer which resonates with me. We never know what will come through the door," laughs Gray.
With the exception of the manager, all Mercy Hospice shops are staffed by volunteers.
"The volunteers bring life skills, good will and humour, we simply couldn't do what we do without them. Essentially without the volunteers we simply couldn't run the stores," says Gray.
Mercy Hospice Auckland is caring for more people than ever before. With an annual retail fundraising goal of $1.5 million collectively required from the seven Mercy Hospice shops they need your help.
"Whether you donate quality clothing, become an avid customer or volunteer some hours, it all helps to ensure Hospice services are offered at no cost to patients and their families - that's our mission," says Dearlsy.
Volunteer one day, manager the next, "that's my story and it could easily be yours," laughs Gray.