Reply To: Hi there, thank you to the experts for sharing your time, it is appreciated so much.I am the manager of a high end Charity retail store in Napier- we sell most items you would find in recycle shops, however the majority of our sales come from pre-loved designer/ NZ made fashion. We rely on volunteers to help run our store., the majority of whom are in the most vulnerable age group if they contracted the Covid virus. Our charity has been serving the HB community for over 30 years & provides counselling, parenting courses, budgeting advice, childcare and social services to 2500 vulnerable families.Our retail store was set up 2 years ago and is our main income stream to support our services, we have done incredibly well and prior to the shutdown. We do get some govt funding but rely on the shop income and associated events to make up the shortfall. We have had to cancel 3 events as a result of the shutdown and our store will not be able to reopen for some time- who knows how long that will be ! I am looking at opening an online store using Shopify  to try to get some income but my worry is that the demand on our services will increase with peoples mental health deteriorating during this time , we will end up with more people needing us and less income to support that. Can anyone please help ? Is it appropriate to be asking for help from  businesses/ sponsorship at a time when everyone else is struggling  ? Are there any other ideas on fundraising ? When we come out o this all charities will be facing the same problems. Thank you for your time. 

Totally agree with Chloe. The need for your services will increase. There are lots of people that do want to help in the communities. Perhaps you could reach out on local Facebook groups in Napier and in the Hawkes Bay (ie Napier News or Napier Community News and Views and a few others). It is likely that businesses may struggle with cash support right now and for some time to come, and may be more willing to offer support in kind, such as tech services or digital marketing or PR. Perhaps reach out to the businesses that have the specific skills you need to pivot to online and to increase your social media presence and general awareness. Suspect there will be a lot of people that have been cleaning out their closets during their time at home, so getting supply may not be an issue! You may need to engage with this group to ask them to hold their clothes until lock down ends, and perhaps you can create a database of willing donors that you can engage with after lock down. Best wishes, great initiative and great you reached out.