Small Shop, Big Impact

Auntie Gesina on duty. Photos:

“I treat people with respect,” says the Koop en Gee charity shop’s manager, auntie Gesina with a smile. And she gets it back in the small shop on the grounds of the NG Church here in Melkbosstrand.

The shop has really taken off under auntie Gesina’s management. Which is a good thing as the money it makes has to work really hard.

The Melkbosstrand Community Centre, that leases the shop from the church, has to pay the shop’s rent from the proceeds of the sales; they also buy and make up food parcels for approximately 35 persons per month and supports the playgroup, Little Beach House,  and its three teachers who are paid a stipend while they study towards their Diploma in Educare at West Coast College in Atlantis.

They also fund projects such as holiday programs and outreaches to organisations such as Orion organisation, Vaatjie school, United Shelter for Abused Women and Children.  Furthermore funds are used to aid in crisis situations such as children being removed from parents and put in foster care.

At the moment auntie Gesina is worried because the shop’s shelves are getting emptier, and donations have dried up. Some people tell her not to worry but she can’t help it. A while ago the little shop felt like Ali Baba’s bazaar, or Fashion Central, for the customers.

But the customers, that are primarily women, and that range from the very poor to the wealthy, have bought up the bulk of stock. According to auntie Gesina the shop’s top sellers are linen and bric a brac, with children’s clothes following. The shop has an especial need for girls’ clothes at the moment.

I give my everything
Auntie Gesina spends a big part of her days inside this shop. “I give my everything,” she says, and it’s true. The place gleams; the shelves are neat; and it’s all thanks to this seventy-something lady. A few years ago she said, “I have these hands. Give me something to do with them,” and here is the result: A shop that has a loyal customer base that comes in daily for their fix of Auntie Gesina – and for the necessities and treasures they can get here for a fraction of what it would cost anywhere else.

Melkbosstrand Community Centre is looking for clothing, linen and bric and brac for the Koop en Gee charity shop. Please contact Karen Dreyer on 082 415 5442 for drop off or collection details.



Do you want to get the latest news from Enter your email address and click subscribe.