“All this retro stuff is coming back,” John Liston says as he looks around the crowded hall at the former St Joseph’s School site.
He’s looking at a room that looks ready for a garage sale. Furniture is piled high, there are boxes of material and toys, tools, knick knacks and even a two litre bottle of Carlton beer.
It’s one of many treasure troves stashed in Eden and Pambula that John and Michael Brosnan are carting to convert Pambula’s Toad Hall into an op shop for the Social Justice Advocates of Pambula Parish to carry out a frenzied five weeks of fundraising.
The initiative is a triple pronged attack on poverty and famine in three countries; Somalia, Nepal and Timor Leste.
Every cent raised through the sale of goods goes straight to feeding families in famine and war struck Somalia but you can also contribute to buying water tanks for the poorest of the Nepalese and enjoy a coffee to help teachers in Timor Leste.
Last year a similar effort raised $31,500 in 26 days.
“We’re helping locals all the time,” John said.
“This is to help Somalia, to help the women and children while their men are all off fighting in wars.”
The money is deposited in the account of a Catholic Bishop living in Kenya, near the Somalian border.
He uses it to buy food and blankets and sends the receipts back to John and Michael.
“The families sign for their goods or leave fingerprints and you can see exactly what they received, a kilo of flour, half a kilo of rice, it’s all there,” John said.
Pebbles for Nepal is an initiative started by Pambula woman Jenny Stewart who saw how families living at Chepang Hill, one of Nepal’s poorest areas, struggled meet their daily water needs.
Every $200 she raises through the sale of pebbles buys a water tank and pipes for these people, and one tank can service nine families.
You can also grab a cup of coffee to support education in Timor Leste through the Bega Valley Advocates for Timor-Leste.
“Everyone is welcome to help by giving, buying or serving,” John said.
“We will pick up and deliver, every effort matters.”
The Social Justice Advocates of the Pambula Parish Op Shop will be open this week from 8.30am to 5pm (week days) and until noon on Saturday, December 22.
It will reopen on Monday, December 31 to Saturday, January 26 (closed New Year’s Day).
To donate contact John Liston on 6496 5325, or Michael Brosnan on 0410 697 229.