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.

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