Kindness goes around the world
Without the support of Southland, they doubt they would have even lasted a year, but eight years later Orphan Aid International's Invercargill opshop is still going strong.
This month marked the birthday of the charity's store, which was established in Southland in January 2005.
After years of hard work, thousands of hours of volunteer time and the donation of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Orphan Aid Invercargill store manager Kathryn Casey said it could not have reached the milestone without the support of the Southland people.
The generosity of people from throughout the region had been "outstanding".
"The Southland people have got behind what we believe in - helping others."
The Spey St store marked its birthday by giving out chocolate cake, decorating the shop with balloons and holding a half price sale.
Ms Casey said the response had been great. What started as a "grotty, small, back street shop"in Invercargill, has now expanded to the North Island with shops in Dunedin, Tauranga, and a new one opening in Queenstown.
The expansion of the op shops in New Zealand has enabled the charity to expand its ongoing work in orphanages halfway across the world, now helping those less fortunate in Romania, Russia, India, Nepal and Uganda.
They were "totally grateful" for Southlanders' help, Ms Casey said.
The Southland Times