SPCA New Zealand

Help animals in need this Christmas through our SPCA Op Shops

30 November 2023

With over 80 SPCA Op Shops around the country, delve into how these stores provide critical funds to help us care for thousands of animals every year, and hear from the people who keep these doors open.

Help animals in need this Christmas through our SPCA Op Shops

From Kaitaia to Invercargill, our 81 SPCA Op Shops are spread all around New Zealand, raising vital funds to care for the animals in SPCA’s care.

While SPCA relies heavily on monetary donations from the public to continue to operate, sales from items donated to our Op Shops make up a large proportion of the funding that makes our work possible. All profits go straight back into the care of abused, neglected, and vulnerable animals that we see everyday in our centres.

Win-win: Shopping sustainably while supporting animals in need

In a time where fast fashion is a very real problem, donating your pre-loved items to one of our op shops meanskeeping household items and clothing out of landfill. By donating your items, they can go on to happy new owners, while raising money for animals at the same time.

Our shops sell a wide range of women’s, men’s and kids’ clothing. Aside from garments, you can also find homeware, kitchenware, linen, toys, furniture, and things for your pets. There’s always something new to discover as stock changes daily!

The amazing people behind it all

In addition to the amazing volunteer who help out in our Op Shops, each store has a manager who works tirelessly. From accepting donations, interacting with the local community, overseeing store operations and supporting their team, our Op Shop Managers are kept busy!

We had a chat to just some of this wonderful group, to hear more about what it’s like to run an SPCA Op Shop.

“Working as a manager for an SPCA Op Shop is a dream for me,” said Emma, who runs our Sydenham Op Shop. “Not only do I get to help reduce New Zealand’s landfill by giving items a second life, the money raised in our Op Shops also helps to give animals a second chance.”

“We get some beautiful, generous donations given to us in our Op Shops. When this happens it brings me joy – not only due to the kindness of donors, but also knowing that we will be able to raise money to help support the SPCA cause.”

Using their retail experience to work towards this greater cause is what drives all our Op Shop Managers. This sentiment is echoed by Nikki, the manager of our Manukau Op Shop.

“I love coming into work. Being part of the SPCA team and knowing our profits are channeled into preventing animal cruelty and promoting positive animal welfare is incredibly rewarding,” she said.

Donations are so appreciated by our teams, as we wouldn’t be able to keep the shops running without them. “I am just constantly in awe of people’s generosity,” Nikki adds.

SPCA Op Shops

Katie manages our Cambridge Op Shop, and told us of a particularly memorable donation from a kind member of the public, that left the team amazed.

“We have many generous donations come in, and some people who even give us high-value items to help with our fundraising. I still recall one person coming in and giving us a gorgeous designer jacket, with its original tags showing its value was over $1,000… we just couldn’t believe it,” Katie said. “The community truly wants us to succeed.”

Many of our teams also have the privilege of getting to know customers well, as they become much-appreciated “regulars”. One customer at our Gisborne Op Shop recently decided to sell her home and move to Australia – but not before donating countless items to the Op Shop.

With many visits to the shop over the course of a few months, our team were blown away to see her bring in precious jewelry that she was adamant she “didn’t need”, and she wanted to be sold for the benefit of the animals.

Aroha is the manager of the Gisborne shop, and said she was thrilled when this kind local dropped by recently to say hello, while visiting from her new home in Australia. “I was sure to tell her how much had been raised through her various donations. It’s kind acts like hers that make our job so worthwhile, and just knowing that they always have the animals in mind is heartwarming,” Aroha said.

“We also have another lovely regular who visits us every month, without fail, and makes a cash donation at the shop. We gave him a signed card from all volunteers, and a big bag of luxury biscuits as a thank you! He was so humble, and wasn’t sure why he deserved to receive such a gesture,” Aroha said.

We’re so appreciative of the ongoing support from our communities around the country.

Made possible by selfless volunteers

We wouldn’t be able to run our Op Shops without the time and commitment of our kind-hearted volunteers. We currently have approximately 1,000 volunteers across our Op Shop network, and we couldn’t be more grateful for all of their hard work.

From sorting through donations and pricing items, to cleaning the store, setting up displays and running the checkout, these team members keep the shops running smoothly and ensure we can continue to bring in new items and sell through stock.

Emma told us just how valuable our SPCA volunteers are.

“We couldn’t do what we do without them. With each store running on mainly volunteer work, it really highlights how far the SPCA cause reaches the community,” she said.

“I know in my store my incredible volunteers are like my family. They really do so much to help both the SPCA and myself reach our goal of raising vital funds for the SPCA.”

SPCA Op Shop Volunteers

Sandy is one of these selfless people, who volunteers at our Manukau Op Shop.

“I only work at my regular job part-time now, which allows me time to help out in the local community. I really enjoy the camaraderie at SPCA,” Sandy told us.

When individuals like Sandy have time available to give back to their community, we’re endlessly thankful when they choose to donate that time to SPCA, and ultimately give back to the animals. “I chose SPCA because animals are close to my heart,” Sandy said. “I’ve always had cats, dogs, and horses, but I just love all animals.”

“I’ve been volunteering with SPCA for over two years and thoroughly enjoy it. I tell all my friends and family to drop goods off to an SPCA shop – or even to my house, and I’ll deliver it.”

It’s the compassionate people like Sandy who go above and beyond that are the absolute lifeblood of SPCA. Income generated through sales at our Op Shops are critical in allowing us to help countless animals at our centres, and it’s wonderful to have so many volunteers dedicated to this cause.

SPCA Boutique Op Shops

Choosing to shop in SPCA Op Shops means choosing to support animal welfare. Your purchases go directly back to helping animals in need, so thank you so much for saving lives with your shopping!

Do you have pre-loved goods that you’d like to donate, or looking to do some Christmas shopping? Be sure to visit one of our Op Shops – you can find your nearest location on our Op Shops website.

We’re always on the lookout for more volunteers – if you’re interested, you can learn more on this volunteer page of our website.

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