Delivering Just the Good Stuff
Kelly’s role is a greatly varied one, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. From supporting her team and shops to organising deliveries, increasing sustainability measures, and even jumping on the truck when needed.
Kelly Sweet started at the Tōtara Hospice Distribution Centre (DC) six years ago. From a two hours per week volunteer, she is now the Takanini Manager responsible for providing stock for the six Tōtara Hospice stores in Auckland through the DC, as well as managing the Takanini Hospice store.
Today, she has taken a quick break to share with us a day in the life of managing the Takanini DC and store.
8.30am - Starting the day
I walk in the door with a plan for my day but it’s sure to change. I greet each of my team, I love working with them.
9am - Sorting
I get the team quickly settled into a rhythm of sorting and packing.
Everything donated to a Tōtara Hospice shop arrives here to sort. We have strict quality standards and only stock the Good Stuff. Sustainability is key for us, and we have many ways of reusing and recycling to reduce landfill.
Once a box is filled it is labelled and stored until a store calls asking for more stock. The stock turns over quickly so I know these boxes won’t be here long.
9.30am - Takanini store display
I check in with our staff and volunteers at the Takinini store right next to the DC; they are setting up a lovely display for an upcoming book and clothing sale. We discuss what they might be missing and whether we have some items in the DC which could help make the sale even more impressive.
I also help a customer load a mattress into a trailer. He has got a great buy, the mattress is almost new!
10.00am - New volunteers
I take a call with a corporate keen to have a team come in and help us. I love getting these calls! It’s a great team-building experience and allows people of different ages and backgrounds to get stuck in and learn from each other.
11.00am - Planning ahead
While the volunteers are sorting, I’m planning ahead for an upcoming boutique market.
These events are a way for us to gather the community and showcase our best products, including fashion brands with tags still on! I check the racks to see what we already have for the market and let my team know what to be on the lookout for as they sort.
I also check our stock of winter goods. This year we have a goal of 1,000 boxes of winter clothing to put into the stores. There’s always high demand for winter clothing and bedding and we start planning and setting aside items for this now.
1.00pm - Truck delivery
Our Hospice truck arrives after a morning of pick-ups. The truck is full. I always find this an exciting part of the day and can’t wait to see what treasures we have been donated. Today the drivers did a large pick-up from a lovely lady who is downsizing her house and moving into an apartment. Our awesome truck drivers Matt and Mark begin the job of unloading the truck while I organise space for them to put the new items in.
2.30pm - Store displays
A store manager gets in contact for help with a store display. They’ve just taken down the Chinese New Year display and we discuss what items sell well with their customers. We’re always changing out our goods to keep the shops fresh.
5pm - Home time
Today was a great day. The team finished off the display for the upcoming book and clothing sale and it looks great! We also managed to get a pile of donated goods sorted and catalogued, and there is more to do tomorrow, but for now, it’s time to head home to my family.
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