On Saturday the 1st of October the Christchurch City Mission, in collaboration with local Rotary Clubs, ran “Operation Clearout.” “Operation Clearout” aimed to collect good quality furniture, clothing, and household goods for the City Mission’s Opportunity Shops.

Local Anglican parishes supported the event by providing pick up locations across the south of the city. City Mission trucks and vans parked up at St Stephen’s Lincoln, St Mary’s Halswell, and All Saints’ Prebbleton to receive collections.

“It was an incredible success with most trucks and vans filling up multiple times,” says the Rev’d. Ben Truman. “People generously donated clothes, suitcases, microwaves, kitchen tables, scooters, bookshelves, duvets, toys, and even an old-fashioned lawn mower that got a test-drive on St Stephen’s lawn.”

These donations make a big difference to the City Mission and their clients. “It means a lot to us” says City Mission Manager of Property and Retail Paula Gray. “It gives us an opportunity to get stock for the shops that we can sell at a reasonable price. This is great for customers but also helps create income for the City Mission,” says Gray.

Donations are also given to clients of the City Mission who need support making a new start. “When we issue goods to clients it’s often things like providing clothes for someone who needs an outfit for a job interview, which is very expensive if you have to buy that yourself from a normal shop. We also issue kitchen packs and household goods for struggling families and individuals setting up a new home or a flat. Linen, bedding and beds are especially useful,” says Gray.

The experience was rewarding for the parishes too “whilst much of the loading was done by the Rotarians, it was a joy for the parishes outside of the city centre to participate in the work of the City Mission,” says the Rev’d. Ben Truman. “People were incredibly generous and keen to see it become an annual fixture.”

According to Gray the initiative was a major success. “We received a fantastic response from the parishes and the people of the areas where we parked up. Thank you to St Mary’s, All Saints’, St Stephen’s and also the Rolleston Community Centre — they were a fantastic help. We also received tremendous help from the Christchurch South, Lincoln and Hornby Rotary Clubs.”