Pop up for a free shop

With generosity and recycling in mind, a Morwell couple will hold a free store on Sunday at Morwell Neighbourhood House.

David and Debbie Hollis began hosting free stores about two years ago and usually set up shop at the Morwell Town Common to give away or swap donated items.

“It’s another way of helping disadvantaged people; op shops are great and they are a wonderful thing but sometimes people just don’t even have the money to shop there,” Ms Hollis said.

“If there’s something they really need, if we’re helping them out then they can go for it.

“People donate things and they take things.”

Mr Hollis said turnout at his pop up stores had been minor, but hoped the free store movement would take off once more people knew about it.

“We have to hold it out of the way where we don’t need a permit or need to pay to hire a venue,” he said.

“Not many people show up, but we’re hoping to increase that.

“People probably don’t know about it, we don’t have an advertising budget.

“We’re interested in working with the op shops because they throw a lot of things out, there’s a lot of waste in society, the free shop is probably helping to counteract that a bit.”

Mr Hollis said he got the idea from a free store in Melbourne, open to the public one day per week and it was also a social space.

“It gets people together to talk without money being involved,” Mr Hollis said.

“People can just come and check it out, they don’t have to donate anything.”

While the couple usually operate from the town common, they are looking for spaces across the Latrobe Valley where they can hold more free stores.

“We just struggle with areas, we can’t hire venues because we don’t have the money for that, we can’t have it outside (in the street) because you have to have a permit,” Mr Hollis said.

A free store will be open on Sunday from noon at Morwell Neighbourhood House, 48-50 Beattie Crescent, Morwell.