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Op shop’s silver lining

A Wairarapa disability has been left feeling “gutted” and “disappointed” after a recent break-in – but thankful for a helping hand and a repair job from the Masterton community.

The Mahi Tahi Tatou Charitable Trust [MTTCT] started in 2021, by a group of friends who had children and grandchildren with disabilities – and were worried about the short supply of opportunities available for their loved ones when they left school.

Last year, MTTCT set up an op shop on Queen Street to help fundraise for the organisation, and create potential employment opportunities for its clients. Coordinator Rebecca Stevens confirmed on MTTCT’s Facebook last week that there had been “a break-in and burglary at the shop”, and police had been notified.

Stevens said she was “obviously gutted – but not surprised with the current climate of need in our community”.

“And we’re disappointed – we often give items away to people if they can’t pay or are in a difficult situation.”

She did not confirm if any items were taken from the store.

Stevens extended her gratitude to Bryan White of The Wairarapa Handyman, who came to the rescue and fixed the shop’s back door, free of charge.

White said giving back to the community when you can is important – which also corresponds with The Wairarapa Handyman’s tagline “a helping hand when you need it.”

“I had finished the jobs for the day, and I was happy to help out,” he said.

“They didn’t deserve to be targeted – not that anyone does.”

Stevens also thanked Masterton local Elaine Leggott, who has started fundraising via the Doing a Good Deed Facebook page for security cameras for the shop.

The trust’s goal is to enable good lives for people with disabilities through education, employment, social and community participation, Stevens said. MTTCT runs a day programme from its Bannister St premises, as well as several social enterprises, a drop-in centre, a social ten-pin bowling group, and advocacy and information services for disabled locals and whānau.

The Trust has a 25-strong team of volunteers, most of whom identify as disabled, who assist with running the op-shop, day programme activities, and MTTCT’s gardening and lawn mowing services and workshop.

“We’re always on the lookout for volunteers. It’s a way of offering people a place to contribute, feel valued and belong,” Stevens said.

She said the Wairarapa community had been “incredibly generous” – and that the trust “wouldn’t function” without the donations it has received so far.

    For more information about volunteering or fundraising for MTTCT, email [email protected] or search Mahi Tahi Tatou Charitable Trust on Facebook.


  1. Resource center had a break in a short time back.
    People who target these organizations are the lowest of the low. No excuses, just Rubish

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