Voluntary bodies throughout the county are set to benefit from the opening of a new charity shop in Ballybofey.
Cutbacks in funding and a scarcity of donations have forced many of the voluntary groups to struggle but the Donegal Charity Shop, which opened its doors last week, hopes to tip the balance back in the favour of the local organisations.
All of the profits from the shop will be directed to the groupings who themselves are non-profit making.
“Their funding has been cut back and donations are scarce. On top of that a lot of funds go towards organisations that should, in fact, because of their importance to society, be centrally funded by the state.
“A lot of funds raised in the county for charity ends up helping organisations that are not active in the county,” a spokesperson for the new charity shop maintained.
Pointing out that the opening of the shop - located at the former North West Travel outlet on Ballybofey’s Main Street - offered an opportunity for local voluntary groups to help themselves, he said: “These groups can gather clothes and other items in their area and have them brought directly to the shop or to a number of other pick-up points in the county. Clothes that are in good condition will be sold in the shop and stuff that is not suitable for sale will be recycled. Therefore clothes that are in poor condition can still raise funds through recycling.”
In addition to the shop, Donegal Charity Shop Ltd. plans to organise a number of concerts and other events during the year to raise funds.
“At the year end the organisation will publish accounts and will have an application process whereby voluntary groups in the county, who have donated items to the shop, can apply for funds. An independent assessor will be hired to assess the amount to be distributed to each organisation. It’s planned to hold a gala night to present the successful organisations with their cheques.
“We will run a transparent operation and the public will see that all the surplus funds are going to charity,” he indicated.
Meanwhile, the new shop has reported a particularly busy opening week with new stocks needed fast. “We are crying out for stuff now. The success of the operation is dependent on a good supply of stock being available.”
The company directors are urging the public and especially voluntary organisations throughout the county to get behind them and donate items for the shop.
“The better the shop does the more money will be available for distribution at the end of the year. We would urge voluntary organisations to organise clothes collections in their area and get in touch with us. There are many houses throughout the county that are full of clothes that will never be worn again.”
Anyone wanting to contact the new charity shop can do so by ringing Margaret at (087) 3589966.