THE Children’s Project Charity Shop in Spiller’s Lane, Clonakilty re-opened its doors last week, after closing for a brief period as it was transformed into a Christmas wonderland.
Donations have been received and collected since January last in anticipation of this pop-up Christmas shop, and the space could be filled twice over with the number of items which have been generously donated throughout the year.
This is the seventh year of the pop-up, while the charity shop itself has been open for 12 years.
Speaking at the opening, Georgina Skinner, who volunteers at the shop, said that sales were already up on last year’s pop-up.
‘We only opened a few hours ago and we are already ahead of last year in terms of sales,’ Georgina said.
‘The feedback this morning from customers is that it is like a Christmas wonderland. People are telling us that the atmosphere is amazing and really friendly. Everything from decorations to gifts are available, as well as an impressive collection of books, all upstairs.’
The funds from the sales will be divided between local and international charities.
There is a team of 12 volunteers who give up their time to help in the shop. Some of these have been volunteering since it first opened its doors.
‘We are fully voluntary. There are no paid staff at all and that’s how we can donate as much as we do throughout the year, which is an average of €25,000. This is incredible for a small shop in Clonakilty,’ volunteer Helen Skinner said.
Proceeds from the Christmas sales will be split between West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue, Inchydoney Inshore Lifeboat, Marymount Hospice, Pieta House, Ethiopia Deaf Project, Asral Mongolia and Aurelia Trust.
They have also donated funds to Clonakilty Meals on Wheels, Courtmacsherry Lifeboat and Special Olympics this year.
The Christmas pop-up shop is open every Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, until stock runs out.
They are always looking for more donations, but unlike most charity shops, they do not accept clothes or toys, except puzzles, jigsaws and soft toys.
Household items in saleable condition are also welcome.
The shop will close for the Christmas break and re-open in January for the coming year.