*Posted originally on the 21st of July 2014 by theanonymousthoughts
On the 16th of July we were fortunate enough to have the fabulous ladies of the Johnson&Johnson team come and take over our Living & Giving Shop here in Stockbridge. Annually Johnson&Johnson take part in a charity initiative where they volunteer to raise money for a specific charity by working with them – this year we were lucky to have the team back to raise money for Save the Children again. A team of around 6 enthusiastic ladies from all over the UK came early in the morning to set up for the day and brought with them some delicious home baking and generous donations that they had collected from peers. The theme this year was ‘the 1950’s’; all the ladies were wearing beautiful dresses and had their hair styled in rollers and all that jazz! Many of the team members had been very busy the day before baking their cupcakes, strawberry tarts, tablets and so much more (…Trust me it was hard to do my job with all the food around!). Their takeover of the shop included: re-merchandising certain areas of the shop with tombola, having champagne on arrival for shoppers and quite cleverly having one of the fab ladies ironing in the shop window to attract customers. I had the great opportunity of interviewing some of the women who came along. My first interviewees were Deborah and Louise who were Johnson&Johnson representatives all the way from Ireland…
What attracted you to do a partnership with a charity shop?
Louise: Well usually annually, people (Johnson&Johnson employees) do a lot of fundraising for charity by doing a lot of sporty things but in all honesty we are not the sportiest people in the world (both laugh). We had the opportunity to do something a little different so we decided that we could help in a takeover of a charity shop and help in any way we can. This particular charity shop was a quite a popular choice for all of us due to the quirkiness and uniqueness of the shop. Johnson&Johnson always are trying to find ways of giving back to the community, so this was a perfect opportunity for all us to volunteer some of our time to do this.
What have been some of your roles today?
Deborah: Well today I have been ironing, steaming and price labelling at back of house. It has been such an enjoyable experience and also it was very intriguing for me to get involved because this has been our first year of doing this and it hasn’t disappointed, it has been a lot of fun.
The next woman I interviewed was the very bubbly Sue, who was Health and Care Manager , she was in the middle of sorting out the delicious looking strawberry tarts when kindly agreed to be interviewed.
How have you prepared today and how has it been for you?
Sue: Well I was baking away until the early hours of this morning but it has just been a great experience and the people here in the shop have been so welcoming, especially Susie. Doing something like this is very important to our organisation because it is all about giving back to the community and there is such a great self satisfaction in doing so. I have just had so much fun, it has been hectic but so enjoyable and interacting with shoppers themselves has been great.
What made you guys to do this particular 1950s theme and what kind of stuff have you all donated?
Sue: We decided to do a 1950’s theme because to remember the anniversary of the war and to in some way celebrate and acknowledge the heroism and bravery of those who passed. Also, this vintage look is very in at the moment and this store is very fabulous and quirky so it has been a great match. We were fortunate enough to have had high end donations of clothes and shoes etc being donated to us for the shop today, so hopefully we can get all those selling. I would definitely love to do this again and hopefully I will be back next year, fingers crossed!
Throughout the day the shop was very busy and there was a very fun and enthusiastic atmosphere in the shop that bounced off everyone and created a special experience. I was lucky enough to do live tweeting from the event, which was a fun way to interact with the social world. The whole day if I were to describe it all in word would be: fabulous!
The target that was to be made was £400 however they smashed their record by nearly raising £1000 for the shop. We would like to say a huge thank you to the wonderful ladies that came from Johson&Johnson and did a great job in hosting the event and choosing to work with Save the Children, we greatly appreciate your hard work and cooperation.