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Monday, 8 August 2016

Making your money work harder for good causes

I've just received an email from a local charity I support called Helen and Douglas House.  They told me that they made £39.03 from the items I donated, and that they will be claiming another £9.76 in Gift Aid.  What a great start to my week to know the things that I didn't need have now found a home with someone new.

What's even better is that it reminded me of when I took my bag of stuff into the shop.  I was looking for fascinators or hats for my cousin's wedding.  They have eye-catching window displays in Helen and Douglas House shops, as do all the charity shops along our high street actually.  I had a vague recollection that I'd seen some fancy hats and fascinators in the shop window recently so I decided to do a tour of all the charity shops along the High Street to see what they had on offer for myself and for JD and SD.

I took a few photos on my phone so I could discuss that evening with the daughters.  But I left Helen and Douglas House, though, with more than just a photo.  A lovely summer dress caught my attention and it was my size.  I knew it was something I would get loads of wear out of so I payed £9.50 (this was a clearly nearly new designer dress, you know!).

The next day I was honoured to be a guest at a lunch and play celebrating the centenary of school I have visited to talk about my book.  I proudly wore my new designer dress.

By the time I returned just a week later to buy the fascinators and hats I'd seen, I had worn my new dress 3 times.  Because I was returning to the charity shop, I tasked myself with filling a bag of things we no longer want.  It can't remember exactly what was in them, but I can vaguely remember a couple of dresses given up by the daughters and a pair of jeans that were passed on to me but were a bit big.  Maybe a few other bits and bobs.

Perfect for our summer wedding

I bought the amazing hat for £10 and the fascinator for £15 (I bought a third in another charity shop) and having paid for those and handed in my bag I was on my way out when another dress whispered "Buy Me" right in my ear.  As I had worn the same dress three times that week, I thought "Oh go on then."  I looked at the make and size and knew it would be a bit loose fitting but I felt the style would cope with that.  So I went back to the till and paid the grand sum of £3.50.

The next day I put on my new new dress - or tried to, and it seemed a little challenging,  I was puzzled because it is a make that is usually generous in its sizing.  I  took it off - I had to as I hadn't managed to get it on and checked the label again.  then I spotted the careful sewing where it had been very beautifully taken in. But wait... that's when I realised there was a hidden zip.  Rewind ...

I put on my new new dress, did up the zip and found it fitted to absolutely perfection,  It could have been taken in specially for me.  Thank you to that wonderful person who donated the dress that fits me so well, I wear it as often as I can.  Your hard work and skill are greatly appreciated.

Now that really is retail therapy.