Home Cheap jerseys Shop secondhand and support the work of Palmerston North Methodist Social Services

Shop secondhand and support the work of Palmerston North Methodist Social Services


Palmerston North’s Methodist Social Services Shops have been a mainstay of the town’s second-hand scene for over 50 years. Photo / Provided

Palmerston North Methodist Social Services has a long and colorful history of volunteerism. The book Towards Wholeness, by Florence Baber, tells the story of MSS from 1963 to 1983, from when retired farmer George Baber approached Merv Hancock, then Manawatū District Child Welfare Officer. “I feel like I’d like to do something, but I don’t know what,” Baber said.

The rest is history, but the feeling of “what else can we do?” imbues the rich history of MSS in all of its endeavours: from pioneering counseling services to foster care support, a youth hostel, social justice advocacy, and the founding of the first Manawatū Food Bank in 1983 and the op shop in 1969.

MSS op shops have become a mainstay of Manawatū’s second-hand scene over the past 53 years. Sister organization Goodwill became the fundraising entity of MSS for over 10 years, with stores in Terrace End and Highbury House. The Terrace End store has closed and Highbury House is being refurbished to accommodate a convenience centre, alongside the existing op store.

Hundreds of volunteers have given thousands of hours over these 53 years. In the 1960s, a group of women met regularly at Iris and Ray Sandford’s to undo, cut and transform adult clothing into children’s clothing. Their memories include “knitting, undoing jerseys, washing, drying and rewinding yarn, crocheting throws”. In the years that followed, volunteers collected donations, organized flea markets, moved inventory and staged fashion shows.

Support for charities and value for money remain strong motivators for buying second-hand, but environmental concerns are also a part of it. Clothing went from being handmade with quality materials to being prolific and cheap. Buyers must consider the impact of its production on the environment and the workers behind the sewing machines whose basic human rights are often compromised.

Today’s fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global CO2 emissions. As clothes filling our landfills become one of the fastest growing causes of litter in Aotearoa, it’s time we heard the words of George Baber again and asked ourselves “what else can we do? “. Doing some thrift shopping, supporting the valuable work of Methodist Social Services, or perhaps volunteering time, could be a good place to start.

• Environment Network Manawatū is a hub for approximately 60 environmental groups, working in areas ranging from sustainable living to wildlife conservation. Find him on Facebook or visit enm.org.nz.