Following a dream….
About 3 years ago I had a dream – I dreamt that I was working in a charity shop in my home village. There was stock everywhere of all kinds and everything was as I like it to be – sitting to perfection!
In the small back room, I had tea-making facilities and tea was on tap for all who visited the shop. The dream was so real that I woke up exhausted from a hard night’s work in my shop!! I found it almost impossible not to think about the shop and my excitement was such that I did tell more than a few people! When I shared the idea with my Branch members at St John’s Crumlin they were crystal clear in their response which was simply that I should ‘DREAM ON’! I began to wonder why I didn’t know of any MU Charity shops ANYWHERE.
I was invited to attend the ‘EQUIPPED TO SERVE’ MU Conference at Swanwick, by our then DP Valerie, and thought I might get some more answers there. I did raise the subject at a few opportunities but realised that my dream was unique and that no MU Charity shops exist. I came home still wondering ‘why not?’
Time passed and my dream was never far from my thoughts. I raised the subject again with my Branch members. We knew from our coffee morning type fundraisers that MU was always well supported by the community in the village. I suggested that we try a ‘POP-UP’ type charity shop from 10 -12 noon on a Saturday morning, once a month, as an experiment and, to cut a very long story short, we opened for the first time last November.
The support and buzz created has been astounding! Donations of stock have been overwhelming! We have had 3 ‘POP-UPS’ – Nov, Dec and Feb – and have raised in total £1347.68. However, it’s not all about the money! We have a great sense of fun along with all the hard work. We are supported by many friends and church members who are becoming more aware of the work of MU.
I think we are on a very important journey in the life of MU in St John’s Crumlin. In many ways we are becoming a name held in high esteem within the community and our profile is being raised in the process. There are many ways we can change each month to keep the interest going. We are full of big ideas and have dates set for the upcoming second Saturdays of each month.
What’s not to be excited about?!!
by Lyn, Branch Leader of St John’s Crumlin
(The article above first appeared in the latest edition of In Touch which is edited by Moira)