As a Red Cross shop volunteer, she was involved in the Blenheim Red Cross shop move just days after the earthquake hit, impacting Marlborough and Kaikoura residents.

Jenny and several other volunteers and staff were busy setting up the new Blenheim Red Cross shop on Maxwell Road. Despite a delay caused by the earthquake and building assessments, the shop opened on 22 November.

Now stocking homewares, manchester and books, Jenny says the shop has received visits from people who lost dinner plates and kitchen ware during the powerful shakes. “We’ve had people in looking for china, and to replace broken plates. Many have come from Seddon and Ward, areas harder-hit by the earthquake.”

Jenny says “People have been quite resilient and are keeping on. We’re seeing a lot of great donations coming in. People have gone through their things at home, wanting to bring in items they no longer need – they want to help.”

With homewares flying out the door, the shop needs more donations of crockery, kitchenware and household items.

“All of the money from buying items goes back to Red Cross, to help out other people in the community. So the shops have a wonderful multiplier effect,” Jenny says.

Hailing from bush country in South Australia, Jenny has a history of helping Red Cross. She was inspired to fundraise for Australian Red Cross after seeing Red Cross volunteers were the first on the ground after a bush fire.

She moved to Blenheim four years ago, and spying a ‘Volunteers wanted’ sign, was quick to sign up as a Red Cross shop volunteer. “I wanted a way to meet people in the district – and Red Cross was it.”

Can you help with donations?

Marlborough residents can drop off their quality second-hand items to the new shop on Maxwell Road. Kitchenware and crockery are the most-needed items right now.

People can also fill up donation stations at the Z petrol station in Picton, the supermarket in Seddon, and the Z petrol station in Springlands.

To volunteer

If you’re interested in gaining new skills and making new friends, apply online to volunteer at a Red Cross shop.