To help New Zealanders struggling to keep warm this winter, Botany Town Centre and The Salvation Army held a giant clothing swap where locals brought in their pre-loved clothing in exchange for other second-hand items.
The event served as a way to shake up winter wardrobes by exchanging no longer used quality clothing with other people as well as benefiting the community with all the proceeds and left over clothing items donated to those in need.
The Salvation Army says that feedback from the clothing swap has proved positive with people praising the idea to have a clothing swap inside a busy retail centre.
“The goods we sell and receive make a huge difference to people’s lives and provide much-needed relief to tight household budgets. Profits from goods and clothing sold through our Family Stores also support our community work," says Raewyn Butler, public relations coordinator for The Salvation Army.
“Local events such as this play an important role in making a difference in our communities. We are grateful to be involved with a large shopping centre like Botany Town Centre.”
As the country moves into the coldest time of the year, many shoppers have been busy purchasing warmer clothes to help keep the chill away. However, many families around New Zealand do not have the luxury of a new winter wardrobe. According to Statistics New Zealand, around 41,000 Kiwis (at least one in every 100) are homeless and more than half of them under the age of 25. The Salvation Army states that many people who come into its stores for assistance are sleeping in their cars.
Last year, The Salvation Army helped more than 120,000 New Zealanders in need, through both short-term emergency support and also by working with each person on a long-term plan to lift them out of poverty using services such as budgeting, life skills, counselling and accommodation.