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TEARS relies on thrifting income to fund lifesaving work - Call for donations of of pre-owned items to cover funding shortfalls

By TEARS



TEARS Animal Rescue has been rescuing, treating, rehabilitating and rehoming homeless, sick, abused and injured companion animals for the last 25 years. As a level 1 B-BBEE contributor and Public Beneficiary Organisation, TEARS relies 100% on donations to remain sustainable and cover the R22M per annum it needs to deliver its welfare community services and operate its full-time welfare Veterinary Hospital, three Mobile Clinics, and the TEARS Kennel and Cattery that support up to 320 rescued pets ~ including those registered via its Foster Programme.

 

While individual giving and TEARS fundraising events accounted for 36% of TEARS’ income during the 2022/23 financial year, the organisation’s three retail shops, which operate in Retreat, Fish Hoek, and Sunnydale, netted R1,8M in direct sales profit that could be channelled back into supporting vulnerable pets.



Says TEARS General Manager Ann Olivier, “Our retail income is vital for funding our animal welfare outreach programmes and providing the pet-positive solutions that TEARS offers to address the pet-overpopulation and homelessness crisis. It cost the organisation an accumulated R12,7M in the 2022/23 financial year to operate the TEARS Veterinary Hospital and Mobile Clinic service and cover the costs associated with the full-time rehabilitation, nutrition, and rehoming support for the 1233 animals that were admitted to its Kennel and Cattery in the same period.”

 

TEARS appointed an experienced retail manager in April 2023 at the same time as donation income was showing a serious decline in the face of increasing costs to consumers and escalating humanitarian disasters accounted for dwindling Trust and Foundation support.

 

TEARS Retail Manager Penny Koulis is as passionate about retail as she is about growing TEARS’ sustainability. “Our thrifting business is not just a source of income; it's a lifeline for our organisation. The global and local thrifting market has seen significant growth over the past decade, and although it was once considered a niche market, more and more conservative and mainstream consumers are embracing thrifting as an affordable and sustainable option,” says Penny.

 

TEARS relies on the public to donate gently-worn clothing, shoes, and accessories and pre-loved household items that include furniture, kitchenware, electronics, home decor, books, DVDs, CDs, and other media items. TEARS provides a free door-to-door clearing, collection and removal service to homeowners who are downsizing, moving or selling their homes as a means to encourage more donations. TEARS is currently netting just under R300,000.00 per month from its retail business, but it needs to more than double this in order to meet the financial needs associated with TEARS’ lifesaving rescue, treatment, rehabilitation and rehoming work.


 

“While TEARS is all about creating second chances for rescue pets, our thrifting model is based on a “re-use, re-wear and re-love” mantra that we hope will expand our donor network, resulting in more high-quality donations. Only 30% of the items that our retail team collects from donors can be re-sold,” concludes Penny.


To help support the life-saving work that TEARS does, please consider donating any pre-owned quality items for re-sale via the three TEARS Thrifting Shops and TEARS Book Shop which contribute 100% of proceeds to fund 30% of what it costs to keep the TEARS Veterinary Hospital and Mobile Clinics, Kennel and Cattery in operation. 


To arrange the collection of any pre-owned item, the public can call TEARS Reception at Tel: 021 785 4482 or message via WhatsApp at 072 270 5016




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