Volunteers sort jigsaws, books
Among the hundreds of Palmerston North volunteers who help make the annual Red Cross book sale a success are those who do the puzzles.
Jigsaws made up a substantial corner of the displays of some 65,000 items for sale last weekend at the Barber Hall.
Even the intricate 2000-piece puzzles sit below a sign that boasts they have all been checked as complete.
During the year, volunteer Judith Beaver has helped coordinate a team that makes that guarantee possible.
Many of the volunteers are retired people, some have disabilities, and some spend a lot of time at home.
The scheme has benefits all around.
People with time to spare who like the challenge of putting jigsaws together get their occupational therapy for free, contributing to an effort that helps raise about $100,000 a year for Red Cross, and supplying bargains for those who do not want to pay the price of new items.
Puzzles that are missing pieces do not make the cut for the sale, although there is some potential for mix and match where multiple copies of the same puzzle are donated.
The same rules applied to games, where volunteers took the time to make sure every set was complete, borrowing from some to make up the items for others.
Red Cross second-hand book manager Roger Foster said this year’s sale was as strong as ever.
More than 500 people had been volunteering during the process of setting up, and the first dozen shoppers were at the door two and a half hours before the 10am opening on Friday.
‘‘It took about 15 minutes for those in the queue to get in once we opened.’’
Foster said there was a great cross-section of material on sale, with most of the books, CDs and DVDs, games, puzzles and children’s books on sale for $3.
There was also a ‘‘priced’’ section, where volunteers had researched the retail prices of quality books in prime condition.
Bargain hunter Gloria White checks out the jigsaws at the Red Cross book sale.