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Trade Aid is an organisation whose history is rooted in voluntarism. Trade Aid hired its first paid staff member 18 months after its inception in 1973, and by 1983 it had more than 1,000 volunteers located in shops around the country. In 2021 hundreds of Trade Aid volunteers still undertake a wide range of tasks based on their skills and share the educational message of fair trade in their communities.
For te wiki tūao ā-motu 2021 we’re proud to introduce you to three of our volunteers who represent the hundreds of diverse people around Aotearoa working to create a world where trade is fair for all.
Honour Mitchell – Ponsonby Trade Aid shop – new volunteer
Honour Mitchell recently shared her Trade Aid volunteer experience in a published article in the Ponsonby news.
“I am interested in journalism and I needed to work on a skill for my Duke of Edinburgh Award. So I came up with the idea of having a Teen Column for the Ponsonby News. I submit an article monthly, covering a range of topics that appeal to teenagers. It was for the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award that I started this job at the Ponsonby Trade Aid shop stacking shelves, dusting, packaging merchandise and serving customers. I feel very privileged to have this opportunity as my family and I are long term lovers of the organic Trade Aid products. In particular we are obsessed with the Mint Crisp Chocolate and the Earl Grey tea – delicious!
In this crazy busy world we live in, we often forget to give back to our community through volunteer work. Knowing you are helping someone out, generates a very rewarding feeling – boosting your wellbeing. Through my Intermediate years I tried out a range of activities, the happy buzz I experienced was unexpected but very welcome.”
Stuart McCallister – Trade Aid Warehouse, Christchurch – volunteer for 17 years
Stuart works 9 – 3pm Monday to Friday and recently won a Trade Aid exceptional service award for his substantial contribution.
“The first duty I do every morning for Trade Aid is to pick up the mail in the morning from the post box. One of the tasks I enjoy most is putting the new stock back into the warehouse after it gets photographed by the craft team. I get to know the layout of the warehouse, and I’m able to offer advice to other staff where the stock is.
I keep coming back for the company, the hospitality is very good. My supervisor Wayne is a very good mentor and trainer and we enjoy a good laugh.
I would recommend others to go volunteering because social interaction is healthy and very mentally stimulating.
We are very much in the classroom at Trade Aid and our learning is ongoing.”
Inez Pearce – Palmerston North Trade Aid shop – volunteer for 35 years
Inez is 99 years old and each Wednesday afternoon she does a four-hour shift at the Trade Aid shop.
“I’ve been a volunteer here for 35 years, I’m part of the furniture. It’s a very friendly shop to work for, they are all very nice people. I was the Palmerston North secretary for about 15 years and I used to do more than the one customer service shift I now do.
I started after visiting Trade Aid as a customer and thinking it was a nice place. A friend who was already volunteering asked “why don’t you volunteer” and here I am.
The shop back then had an old-fashioned cash register with a pull handle and all sales were recorded in a big book. But the biggest change is in the quality of the goods today, they are far superior to what they were years ago.
Volunteering is an important aspect of living a long healthy life. I also belong to clubs and have other interests such as antiques, china painting and outdoor bowls.”
You can read more volunteer stories here and if you’d like to become a Trade Aid volunteer we’d love to have you. Visit our Volunteering page for information.
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