SABA—Being committed to sustainability, the Saba Red Cross last year started the first thrift shop on the island. Slightly used clothing and other items are given a second life via this charity initiative. The thrift shop is located at the Red Cross building in the Windwardside.
Saba, known as a green destination, has been a front-runner in several sustainability projects. Last year the Saba government issued a plastic ban on single-use plastics, which went into effect per January 1, 2021. The thrift shop of the Red Cross fits in the island’s desire to further improve recycling and sustainability.
Clothes and items that before would have been thrown away, now find their way to new happy owners. All items are in good condition and prices vary from US $1 to US $5. The proceeds are used to increase the funding for emergency relief efforts and programs, and for other community-based projects that the Red Cross will offer on Saba. Donating secondhand items means contributing to the goals of the Red Cross. Since its opening in December 2020, there is a steady customer base that visit weekly. These customers are showing much appreciation for this service.
The setup of the Saba thrift shop is similar to the charity initiatives of the Salvation Army in the US and ‘Leger des Heils’ in the Netherlands. The idea of organizing a thrift shop on Saba was floating around for a while. This is one of the first community-based sustainability projects of the Red Cross on Saba. More projects will follow.
‘‘Especially in a world with increasing isolation, tension and climate change it is clear the Red Cross has to champion the individual and community values which encourage respect for other human beings and the environment, and a willingness to work together to find solutions to community-based problems,’’ said Chairman of the Red Cross Saba Board Mr. Gerald Simmons – de Jong.
The Red Cross has been increasingly active on Saba. Especially during this COVID-19 pandemic, the Red Cross has been assisting the Public Health Department and the Public Entity Saba where it can in its auxiliary role. The local and Dutch government are already doing a lot for the Saba community in both regular and COVID-19 times, and there are many other NGOs on the island that are involved with local community initiatives as well, such as the Meals on Wheels program of the Lion’s Club, the Body, Mind and Spirit Foundation and the Lion’s club. The Red Cross is working towards establishing itself better on Saba next to the already existing initiatives.