Rebecca Larsen and Lynda Kazimoglu know first-hand how difficult it can be to get started in a new town.
For Rebecca it was returning to Papamoa from Canada; for Lynda it was emigrating from Scotland.
So, the pair have set up the Facebook-based Papamoa Give & Get group to help others in the same situation, or those who may be struggling for other reasons.
“The purpose of the group is to give away what you no longer need or want,” says Rebecca. “Your old stuff is someone else’s treasure.”
The group is a place where people can pass on unwanted items by giving them free to someone else who can make use of them.
“It’s created a lovely community where people are giving away things to each other, and we’ve had some lovely success stories.”
Rebecca recalls young first-time parents who received everything they needed for their first child from the group. “They were really struggling, and they got nearly everything they needed; bedding, a change table, toys, you name it, they got it.”
The group ran a Secret Santa system through the page, quite a feat considering there are more than 600 members.
“Over time we’ve encouraged people in the community to help us, and we now have five admins on a roster so we share the load.
“We want to keep it an honest, safe place for people to come and exchange items.”
Anyone in the community of Papamoa can become a member, with the only stipulation being they give something first, before they receive.
“We also ask they give something every six months, just to keep involved. It’s quite easy to purge every six months and find something to give.”
The group focuses on the usefulness of an item, rather than its monetary value. “Some people give bikes, some give cots, some give pot plants, toys, or fruit from their trees. It’s about what people need rather than what something is worth.”
Although it’s a public group, Rebecca says they have tight privacy settings in place.
For more information, Papamoa residents can visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/PapamoaGiveNGet and click on Join group.