Ukraine fundraisers

Flag stickers

A big thank you to everyone who generously supported the fundraiser for the Ukrainian Red Cross by purchasing a Ukrainian flag sticker. Altogether, after some last-minute contributions, we raised $853 through the sale of 55 stickers. This money has now been forwarded to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society via New Zealand Red Cross. A special thank you goes to Brett Potter of Sticky Stickers for his support for the cause. Ukraine’s need for aid of all kinds is huge. It’s important we continue to keep Ukrainians in our thoughts and prayers. Displaying a flag is a small way of keeping Ukraine’s plight in the public eye.

Conact Simon Shaw, 0292789947

Pop up Op Shop

On Saturday 30 April, St Ronan’s was the venue for a remarkable community event – the Ukraine fundraiser ‘Pop-up Op Shop', with all proceeds going to UNICEF’s emergency humanitarian assistance to suffering children and families in Ukraine. 

The driving force behind the event was a team consisting of Cath Louden-Sim, Amanda Mallet, Karen Binnie, Libby Bloomfield and Sheryl Selwyn. In a short time they managed to assemble a network of 30-or-so helpers able to tap into a wellspring of goodwill in Eastbourne towards Ukraine’s plight. Cath, a 11 member of ‘Unity Community’, an inter-denominational group of Christian women in Eastbourne, says she initially felt so powerless watching the tragedy of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In sharing with the group, Cath hoped that together they could feel empowered by coming up with a charity project with threefold objectives:• To raise money for humanitarian aid to Ukraine• To give the Eastbourne community the opportunity to connect and unite in a common cause, and• To promote sustainability by selling donated household items and gifting any unsold items to various local charities. 

A network of volunteers was quickly established, drawing on Mainly Music, Popin-and-Play, Kindergarten, Toy Library, School etc, parents. Effective publicity, and word-of-mouth, resulted in an almost overwhelming donation of quality goods – every household item imaginable, from a kayak to a kitchen sink..! On Saturday, a throng of 100s of willing buyers contributed around $10,000 to UNICEF’s Ukraine Appeal. A remarkable success! 

The downside of any charity sale is the aftermath clean-up – how to dispose of the unsold items? But, again, the network knew what needed to go where. On Saturday evening, the volunteers sorted the remaining goods into categories which went off to various local charities; the Koha Shed in Wainuiomata; the Wellington City Mission; the Māori Women’s Refuge; electronic goods to enhance STEM learning projects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths); etc. When we arrived for Sunday morning’s ‘informal worship service’ in the morning tea room, yesterday’s shoes and racks of clothes were all gone and the room (and the other rooms) were spotless. 

Cath and her team are enormously grateful for the work of the many volunteers and the generosity of the wider Eastbourne and Bays community, as well as the help from Sandy Lang, Simon Shaw and Diane Gilliam-Weeks of St Ronan’s ministry team.

Les Molloy