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Agape House to open children’s store in Hamilton

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Emily Sousa, left, and Jennifer Mahoney of Friends of Hospice sorting items donated to their new store Little Angels (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)
Some of the items to be sold at the Friends of Hospice Little Angels store, opening in March (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

A new store opening in Hamilton will be offering everything from cheap children’s clothing, and cribs to short-term car seat rentals, all for a good cause.

Friends of Hospice, the charity that funds Agape House in Paget, will be opening thrift and consignment store Little Angels, on March 4 on the ground floor of the Washington Mall.

“The Washington Mall has reduced their rents significantly,” said Friends of Hospice executive director Jennifer Mahoney. “It’s a great space and gives us room to grow a little bit.”

The store will cater to children up to age 12 and expectant mothers, selling a combination of donated and consigned items.

“We will also have some new items in there such as children’s toys, books and equipment such as strollers,” Ms Mahoney said.

“We will also venture into the rental sphere. We recognise that when you have kids, there are certain items you don’t need for a super long period of time. Or you have a family member come down on holiday, who needs a pack and play for a short time.”

They are also looking at renting children’s ski clothing for families going overseas in the winter, on a small scale.

The new store will be an essential revenue stream for Agape House, which provides care for the terminally ill.

Like most charities on the island, the pandemic has presented some fundraising challenges.

“The local corporate donor market continues to contract,” Ms Mahoney said. “It is scary and challenging for all charities. This is also a great opportunity for us to really have a bit more contact with the community. People view hospice care as this scary thing.”

Changing social distancing rules and coronavirus outbreaks have made it difficult to organise fundraising events.

“Last year we scheduled our Agape House 2nd Annual Ladies Golf Tournament for May,” Ms Mahoney said. “The third date was the lucky date for us. We ended up holding it in November. It did really well, but right now, you have to organise an event over and over again. It’s challenging.”

But Ms Mahoney said the pandemic has forced them to get more creative with their fundraising, and also changed the mindset of the general public.

“It has helped the market, in general, realise we have to do things differently,” she said. “That is great. It brings out people’s creativity.

“In the past, people were quick to say that’s not how it is done, or why would you want to do that? Now they are more accepting of ideas that are outside of the box.”

And she said it is sometimes difficult to share their successes with the community because of the sensitive nature of the work at Agape House.

“It is very rare we ever post pictures of patients or their families,” she said. “There are some wonderful moments that happen here that I would love to capture, but it is not appropriate. The new store will be great in that it will allow us to highlight some of the resources we have.”

One of those resources is Emily Sousa, a certified music therapist who works at Agape House.At Little Angels, she will be running free music programmes, once a week, for children ages newborn to eight years old.

“People will have to sign up in advance,” Ms Mahoney said. “We want to engage the community and expose them to the resources we have.”

Friends of Hospice will start taking consignments on February 1, and has already begun accepting donations.

“Donations are coming in through our offices,” she said. “We only started asking last week, but my office is pretty full now. It takes an awful lot of stock to properly keep the store going. The quality of the stuff we have received has been good so far.”

Little Angels will have a grand opening on March 4 and 5.

“We will have all sorts of fun stuff organised,” Ms Mahoney said. “There will be story telling sessions and crafts and fun giveaways for the kids to do.”

Little Angels will operate Monday through Saturday from 10am until 2pm.

For more information e-mail info@hospice.bm, call 232-0859 or see them on Facebook @Little Angels Bda.

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Published January 13, 2022 at 2:51 pm (Updated January 13, 2022 at 2:51 pm)

Agape House to open children’s store in Hamilton

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