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      19.11.2013 16:46
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      Its a business today

      The head of Oxfam's communication team has said that the intensity of last weeks storm in the Philippines was mostly down to man made global warming. This, to me, is a rather cheeky attempt to siphon off cash donations from that Greenpeace crowd as Oxfam link third world poverty to global warming. Nothing wrong with that as giving money to Oxfam can only be a good thing and hopefully the aid will get through on the ground. Problem is its complete bollocks as typhoons have been falling in intensity and number over the last twenty years in the region at the height of CO2 rises, what the scientist tell us drives global warming. It has also been the quietest hurricane season in the Atlantic this year, the quietest on record by all-accounts. How can Oxfam and the like claim global warming is responsible for powerful typhoons but not the lack of hurricanes?

      The real problem for all charities involved in poverty and disaster relief is that it's over population, not so much global warming, causing the problems. The third world wants to have lots of babies to provide for their family purely because they know that, on average, three out of every seven will die before their 16th birthday. The fact China is finally going to allow their people to have more than one child will only increase the number of people on top and in front of natural disasters to come. It suits the west to blame humans for causing global warming rather that the third world bonking away without contraception, why AIDS is so prevalent in that third world. A two child policy for all wouldn't be a bad idea. Oil is reaching criticality and that means more wars over resources and so more donations. I was reading the other day that there is even a helium gas shortage?

      The fact is global temperatures have started to level out and so scientists and charities have tried to distract us from that and blame extreme weather to increase donations. The big charities are branded business these days after all and they need the cash, if just to pay their chief execs, Oxfam head receiving £120,000 for her efforts last year.

      Oxfam have around 700 shops that bought in £2.5 million pound last year and run a £360 million charity operation world wide. Donations fell 15% in 2012, about the same as most high street branded charities in tough times, the irony of charity giving, of course. When they most need it we don't have it. Sometimes people don't give because they don't like the politics, Syria a good example, their crisis mostly reliant on giving from the Muslim Diaspora now, the west tired of the Arab chaos.

      Oxfam are the snobbiest high street charity chain by a mile and overprice everything, discouraging people from going into the shops to spend. They see themselves as top dogs and the originals and that reflected in the social class of the staff, rarely the normal alcoholics and old ladies you get in other charity shops. It's a very middle class operation and profit centered. The stuff is not piled high and they have their own team of window dressers who give their stores the professional look. You can jut feel when you go in there that they think they are the best and this operation more about presentation and elitism than getting as much cash in as possible.

      I mostly buy jeans and shirts in charity shops but a pair of used jeans that could wear through within the year for £5.99 is way too much. I can get some brand new snug fit styled jeans in Primark for a tenner. I think £3 for jeans and £2 for a shirt and a £1 for a T-Shirt is fair, what all the other stores charge. They do bric-a-brac and again they only seem to put stuff out that their friends and family would buy. No willow pattern here!

      I'm not having a go at the charity the way I did the RSPCA but just don't be so haughty and lets see you offer value to get the punters through the doors. Everyone is using charity stores now and there is money to be made and lots of competition. In many ways Oxfam's class war has allowed the Heart Foundation to take top spot in the charity league with those guys now bringing in £133 million from the high street stores, and a lot of old Oxfam regulars with them. Their shelves are packed with stuff and sell volume at decent places.

      To be fair to Oxfam their branding has kept them in the top ten charities list on donations and volunteers with third world NGOs not that popular with the public compared to animal and illness charities, Oxfam and the Red Cross the only aid charities in the top twenty these days. There are 160,768 registered charities in the United Kingdom and the industry, and that's what it is, is now worth an estimated £37 billion. Guys like Oxfam take pride in being top dogs and would probably not sacrifice the top salaried employees there so to increase cash to spend on the ground. I'm completely baffled why a major charity head needs to earn six figures.

      Their website is straightforward with a Philippines appeal, not surprisingly, splashed all over the front-page. This is what they do after all. The Syria crisis has been bumped down to the corner now that conventional weapons are doing the slaughter. This is the tribal implosion of Syria, by the men of Syria (and indeed every other Arab nation) and what they wanted and so the west has had enough of giving to men who can't wait to hate.

      Interesting little article by Oxfam here on pointing out the waste in food companies and how the western sugar rush makes people in the third world go hungry, although if the poverty stricken had access to the same food they would get fat on it too. Land grabs occur in poor countries where industrial farmers need land to sew sugar cane and so the people go without subsidence food so unemployed people can get fat on council estates in Glasgow on borrowed money from world financial markets to pay for that welfare.

      Oxfam plug their Christmas gifts and cards, of course, of which they have an online Oxfam store. If you do buy a goat for the third world the cash goes into the general pot, for which they may or may not buy a goat, so remember that. And never give that for a present. We also have the Oxfam statement on how they spend your money on the opening page. They say 85% of total donations go to emergency development and campaigning work whilst 9p in the pound on support costs and 7p invested to generate future revenue, which means adverts, flyers and chuggers. You can also search out your local store or volunteer here. You can, of course, donate online.

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        15.07.2013 20:20
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        Chuffed to know what my donated goods sold for and that the tax was claimed back

        Oxfam is a global charity working in almost one hundred countries including the uk. The charity has many different ways of fundraising. They accept donations, stage events, run an online store selling fairly traded items and more valuable second hand items and run high street stores including specialist book stores. Oxfam provides emergency relief and funds campaigns and development work.

        This review is mainly to focus on the experience of donating goods to oxfam but first a quick word on buying. Some charity shops have been criticised of late for being 'too expensive'. Some of the Doo yoo reviews on here make that point. However, I perceive that Oxfam occupies a niche in the charity shop world providing more specialist services rather than pile em high and sell em cheap. So, for example, my small town local shop has some new fair trade items and sections for collectables such as stamps, first edition books, vintage clothes, sheet music and good quality books. It has the normal sections for cheap clothes and toys but this stock is less than you may find in other charity shops. In larger towns you will find branches dedicated to books with a range to rival waterstones - organised, indexed and well laid out. A jumble sale it is not. Oxfam seem to have cracked organising their goods, including passing on stock to specialist stores or the online sales service, and so can charge more. For the buyer this is a double edge sword, on the one hand prices are higher but on the other you can find what you want making the buying experience less random.

        So, some more about donation. That oxfam is a worthy cause i will take as a given. what attracts me to donate to oxfam is precisely that they do sort stock and charge a bit more. it would feel pretty pointless to me to donate a speciailist text or brand new booker prize winner to a shop that will then tag it up for 20p. I know oxfam will get the most bang per buck from my items particularly books, and that for me is a good thing.

        In another example of supply chain management, Oxfam have organised collections at my place of work. This is very convenient as it makes it easy to drop off heavy or large items. It was at one such drop off event I learnt that donated good, not just cash donations, can be gift aided. Gift aid means that a charity can claim back the tax, assuming you have paid it,on any donation. I was a bit confused about how this would work with a bag of old clothes and books but I filled out the form and got given a tracking number and labels to put on my bags. I was amazed and gratified to get an e-mail a few months later saying that my donations had sold for £40 and that gift aid had take this amount up to £50. Knowing what the donation made and that the tax had been claimed was really motivating.

        I can see a down side to this though. Oxfam is a huge charity -in someways it is great that its run like a efficient business. However, it must be hard for smaller charities to compete with oxfam's vast infrastructure. For that reason I make sure that I don't forget smaller charities. I'll always make sure that oxfam get books that I know will struggle to sell for 10p in any old charity shop, but more run of the mill or worn books I will give to smaller charities together with more general items.

        So in summary, oxfam does a great job, I'm happy to help if I can but i will keep a eye open for the little guys too.

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          14.05.2011 00:39

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          Cheap fashion/trinkets

          I have been both an ardent customer and a volunteer at Oxfam. I volunteered for six months prior to finding a paid job and I found the experience has made me much more respectful of charity shops. The effort that the other volunteers put in is immense and customers can be extraordinarily rude, so I'd definitely bear that in mind!

          Oxfam is one of the UK's leading charity shops and you are able to pick up a wide range of goods for, in some instances, ridiculously low prices. The donations and heavily filtered by usually two members of stuff so what goes out on the shop floor is the absolute best stuff. Everything is priced fairly using price guides and sheets.

          Oxfam is usually divided into a number of sections: women's wear (this takes up the majority of the shop), mens wear, toys, books, DVDS/CDs and then homeware, which is pretty much everything else you can think of such as candles, picture frames, ornaments, lamps, perfume, etc. This is the section where you can find the best bargains. You can pick up fully functioning digital camera for less than £10.00 or even furniture (chairs, desks, cabinets, etc) for stupidly low prices. For these bargains alone Oxfam is worth a look!

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          23.10.2009 23:49
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          One of the best and most recognised charity shops

          I have always been a fan of Oxfam, not only for the used items available in all the shops, but also for the range of fair trade gifts they sell at Christmas.
          The gift range is extensive and includes picnic rugs, phot frames, jewellery boxes and seasonal items such as nativity sets.
          All the items are produced in third world countries supported by the charity, and are typically very ornate, hand made and reasonably priced.
          Over the years Oxfam has grown in popularity and is very well marketed as a result. They have an online shop which sells a range of used and new items. I do find that the used items are slightly overpriced and certainly cost less when you rummage one of the charitys actual stores.
          I wont knock them for that though and I always try to support them, especially at Christmas when I usually partake in their scheme to give a gift whereby you pay for a goat for a family in Africa, or schoolbooks for disadvantaged children.
          There are a whole range of interesting gifts like this and they are perfect if you want to tailor make something for the person that has everything. It really makes you think about the meaning of Christmas and give something back.
          Oxfam, like most charity shops, is largely staffed by an army of dedicated volunteers, and they are the people that allow charity shops to profit and do good work with disadvantaged people around the world.
          They are currently running a scheme with Marks and Spencer, and are giving out M&S vouchers if you donate the chainstores clothes to your local Oxfam.

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            19.10.2009 15:14
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            5 stars

            This review is about Oxfam Unwrapped, which is Oxfam's latest idea to bring money from us to the third world. It is a gift range with a big difference. The gifts will make a big difference to the people who need it most and it makes you feel good at the same time!

            I first found out about Oxfam Unwrapped a couple of years ago when I had nipped in to Oxfam to have a nosey and saw a poster inside with some catalogues underneath. I took one home and after buying my sister a jumper from River Island but wanting just a little something extra for her birthday I thought I'd have a look. As my sister was of school age at the time, I decided I would buy her the gift of school supplies for a child in Africa and at only £7, it was a perfect little present as a little something extra. Not everybody would appreciate a present that is actually for someone else for their birthday, but my sister loved it!

            The different types of gifts available include a library for a school which goes towards the building, training the staff, filling them with books and a computer. This costs £429 but is of course one of the most expensive options. Other gifts include training a teacher for £27, 5 bags of seeds for a farmer for £10, feeding a family in crisis hit regions for £7, building a toilet for £50 and caring for a vulnerable child for £47.

            Oxfam unwrapped has schools and companies packs for fundraising. The schools pack is full of ideas to help children learn more about what's going on in their world, and has lots of fundraising ideas. The companies pack includes posters and fundraising ideas. They also have a wedding section where the couple who has everything can choose to have a wedding list like no other with goats, classroom essentials and planting an allotment on your list!

            You can place orders online at oxfamunwrapped.com (This is the most cost effective method for Oxfam), order by phone on 0300 2001252, order by post (but you have to have the catalogue which I have in front of me!), or visit any local Oxfam shop. Gifts are sent out within 3 working days of them receiving your order.

            I know everybody is struggling at the moment, but instead of asking for that CD you wanted for Christmas from your partner, why not ask to feed a family hit by a crisis for £7 instead. You'll feel loads better than getting a CD!!

            Thanks for reading.

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              23.08.2009 00:30
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              An excellent charity shop that stocks a range of goods including those 2nd hand from the public

              Oxfam is a charity shop located throughout the UK, which aids children in poverty around the world in places such as Africa. Only people in managerial positions are paid a salary but the other workers are there on a voluntary basis and do not get paid. You can volunteer yourself to work at an Oxfam shop, and it's a useful thing to have on your CV. I worked there as part of the Duke of Edinburgh award and also stated so in my personal statement for my application to study medicine at university.

              The shop has a green background outside with a white Oxfam logo. The shop sells everything really as they rely on goods that are usually 2nd hand and bought in my others. They also sell some of their own stock including foods such as coffee, chocolate and dried fruit, which are all fair trade items. They also sell a small selection of their own toys.

              They don't take electronics in case they may be faulty, which is a shame. However, they have large stocks on clothes as well as books and other second hand items such as pottery, toys and decorative things. You may as well pop in to your local store as you may see something you like, the prices are cheap and all the money goes to a good cause.

              The staffs are pretty helpful usually but sometimes a bit slow as they are more often than not, quite old and a tiny bit senile. However, they are working for free and for a great cause. They sell a good range of things and it's also a great place to drop off old books and clothes and items you don't want to be sold for charity.

              Thanks for reading,

              Dan ©

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                02.07.2009 18:07
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                Expensive compared to other charity shops, but do sell a few things others don't like chocolate!

                I'm rather a charity shop fan, so when we go somewhere new that has a few charity shops, I like to take a look and see what they have. A trip not so long ago to Leighton Buzzard for hubby to visit a model shop gave me the chance to have a wander into a few charity shops and Oxfam was one of them.
                To be honest compared to other charity shops I'm not all that keen on Oxfam, it almost feels like the shops are set up by someone who thinks Oxfam is above other charity shops or something.

                The one in Leighton Buzzard was a medium sized shop, and there was a lot of stuff there, but a lot of it wasn't second hand, a lot of it was products that had the Oxfam branding on them - chocolates, gift bits and pieces, shopping bags, and other odd things that you might not immediately think of as belonging in a charity shop, I know I don't. Of the second hand items they had, there were quite a lot of books, and like the Oxfam shop that used to be near me till it shut down through lack of use, the prices seemed quite high.

                Our local Oxfam closed and I think it's mostly because of this over pricing thing. There were and still are several other charity shops on the same street and they're all well used. But to price books at £1-3 each for paperbacks when you can buy them new from £4 just seems a bit over the top to me - specially when the other charity shops will sell the same sort of thing for 20p-£1.

                I've never really understood what Oxfam gain by pricing themselves higher like this, I mean there are two reasons for shopping in a charity shop for most people - the first is to get something more cheaply than you can buy it new, and the second is to support the charity while you do so. If the charity prices things so they're too expensive for people to afford then they're going to lose the first section of the customers aren't they, and that can't be good for them as a charity.
                I wish Oxfam didn't price themselves out of the market, I'd like to be more supporting of them as they do help a lot of people in a lot of different countries, and over their existence they've done an amazing job of helping many thousands of people get themselves out of poverty. I don't even mind them charging more for things if they're worth it, but really it's the small things like videos which you can buy new for a pound or two now, and yet they still seem to think that selling them for a pound or two second hand is going to work.

                For me, Oxfam isn't somewhere that I shop much any more. As I say my local Oxfam store closed down, and those I've visited in other places are just too expensive for my pocket, it's sad, but I think many other charity shops do a much better job of encouraging people to support their charity and buy second hand than Oxfam do.

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                  22.05.2009 21:45
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                  if you need something specific go to a book store, if you just wanna browse then go to Oxfam books!

                  Sorry guys, accidentally wrote the review thinking this was for Oxfam book, not Oxfam is genral!! so there is nothing here about Oxfam, just Oxfam books!!!!
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                  Oxfam books have recently opened a book store in my local town. I'm not usually on for charity shops, but I do love my book so I thought I would give it a go.

                  My local shop isn't very big, but it's jam packed full of books from floor to ceiling and of every possible type. There are loads of kids books (I was very excited to find 3 Alfie and Annie Rose books, which took me back a few years) and I bought enough of them to keep my boys occupied for a few decades! There is a fiction section divided into thrillers, crime books, bla bla bla. There are sections for gardening, travel, classics, cookery. You name it they have a section for it. But my favourite section by far is the antique book section. Some of the books are hundreds of years old and are leather bound. I bought 3 modestly priced ones, just because they looked nice!

                  Most of the books are £3 or under, with the exception of some of the hard backs and the antique ones. The prices really do reflect the condition of the book. The staff are all volunteers and they work really hard sorting, pricing and stacking the books.

                  Also available in the shop are bookmarks, cards and Oxfam gifts. I spent around £90 and bought 3 antique books, about 20 kids' books and a couple of paperbacks. I spent a little extra on some nice Oxfam canvas bags too (come on I'm a girl, we can't go shopping without buying a bag!)

                  Since my first visit I've been back once, to donate some books. Your local shop will be more than happy to accept any books you have, and you know they will help people to get a better quality of life.

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                    08.04.2009 03:38
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                    Oxfam is an international charity, meaning that they are stationed and help people all over the world, in a range of different countries including the UK, Ireland, America, Cananda and many more countries world wide.

                    They are a charity that are made up of a range of different orgainizations, which overall goal is to help put an end to poverty.

                    Oxfam are known best for the charity shops that they run, that sell donated clothes from the public for a cheap price, the cheap price helps familys who have cash flow or cash finding problems and the money earned also is put into charitable causes and helping put an end to poverty world wide. The shops sell a bit of a pick a mix of things, from books to clothes to unwanted Christmas presents, there is a bit of everything on offer.

                    The things on sale in Oxfam used to be associated with tacky and out of date used goods, though more and more they are getting better clothes and items donated which is helping the cause and also improving their reputation (my friend recently bought a beatiful formal dress for £25 from our student union Oxfam that otherwise would have cost her much more, there are also alots of great finds in sense of clothes and jewellry this Oxfam, though the one down the road has less great finds), though its still a bit of a jumble sale, and each store is only as good as the donaters that provide the goods, so some stores will be better than others with out a doubt.

                    Oxfam are also involved with fundraising and collect for a number of events, the most famous probably being the London Marathon or different sponsored walks all over the world.

                    I think that Oxfam is a great charity to get involved with as they work hard to help such a large number of people worldwide who are in poverty or at the brink of poverty.

                    I encourage everyone to think twice before throwing things you dont need anymore, as one mans trash is another mans treasure, and you really could help make a difference in other peoples lives around you and all over the world, just by donating some thing that you no longer find useful.

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                      30.03.2009 18:26
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                      worth a look.

                      General Information about Oxfam
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                      In 1942 The Oxford Committee for Famine Relief was set up. Oxfam works with other agencies to overcome poverty and suffering. They are an independent organisation and registered as a charity. Their team involves volunteers, supporters and staff of many nationalities. Oxfam really is a global movement brought about to build a just and safer world.

                      Raising money
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                      Oxfam raises money in sereral ways: charity shops, events, donations etc. They are one of the best known charities in the UK and raise a lot of money each year.

                      Oxfam focuses on many different issues and raise awareness very well. They are an extremely well oiled charity and have a powerful team behind them.

                      Shops
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                      Oxfam has shops throughout the UK - mainly on the highstreet. They sell a range of items from brik-a-brak to clothes and toys. They have also begun to sell fairtrade items which sell very well. Less well known stores include the Oxfam Bookstores - these seem to be mostly in University cities though.

                      Overall
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                      I really like this charity and think they do a great job raising awareness of poverty across the world. I would urge everyone to suport them by buying something from an Oxfam shop next time you're passing - fairtrade chocolate - mmmmm!

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                        08.01.2009 17:56
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                        Looking for a textbook, novel, CD or vinyl? Oxfam is the place to look!

                        I absolutely love Oxfam! They're definitely my charity shop of choice. Standard Oxfam stores sell everything, games, books, dvds and videos, and clothing galore! Forget the overpriced vintage shops on the high streets, you never know what gems you can find in a charity shop for the price of the loose change in your purse, and Oxfam are great for stocking a huge range of products all of a good quality.

                        Although a number of the standard Oxfam stores are closing (much to my disappointment) they have now started opening branches that specialise in books and music, and I have to say these stores are absolutely brilliant. Ones near student campuses often have a huge range of text books for over half the price of one you'd buy new in Waterstones. They are also a great place to go in search of rare vinyl, people's discarded CDs and also some of the latest novels that people have brought, read once and donated. I almost always purchase my books from an Oxfam book shop as the selection is brilliant.

                        I'm not hugely knowledgeable on the charity as a whole, but I am aware of the work that they do in aiding people in the developing world, and it gives me a sense of satisfaction to know that I can help, even though I am buying something that I want and need.

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                        18.12.2008 22:01
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                        Good luck to Oxfam

                        Having volunteered in an Oxfam Books and Music shop for a year or so, I'd have to say I'm a pretty big fan of Oxfam.

                        I think the general concept of charity shops is still quite dated - people never expected us to have carrier bags (although they're phasing them out now), they didn't expect us to be able to accept cards, selling new products etc. etc. It also confused people that we specialised in books and media, although these specialist shops are becoming more widespread. Our shop was also very clean and new, with beech effect floor and bright lighting and modern displays. A lot of people complain about how Oxfam spend a lot of money on their shops but it's unfortunate that it has to become more commercialised in order to attract people. I think the government should subsidise rent of shops or perhaps their running costs like electricity etc. because that would make a big difference.

                        What used to annoy me the most was people asking for discounts - if anything, you should be even less likely to ask as you're getting a good price anyway and your money is going to a fantastic cause. People seem willing to fork out more than double (or in the cases of clothes, several hundred per cent) to a greedy faceless corporation, but helping others in need seems to be ignored. This is upsetting as it shows that people are thinking of themselves and what's in it for them, and not about the charity part of it which is the whole point. This is one of the dangers of becoming so commercialised I think.

                        Oxfam does give out a lot of information about projects, news, etc. detailing how you can help and what problems they are currently tackling. Hats off to the people directly involved because it must seem a mountain of a task.

                        One bad thing about Oxfam itself is the harassment of people in the street getting you to sign up for stuff. I did it once and then got a phonecall a few weeks later asking if I would contribute £30 a month to the cause! I was a student at the time and I thought it was pretty rich considering WaterAid etc. asks for about £3 a month. I guess the idea was that you'd suggest a much lower amount and they'd settle for that, but I'm not about to barter with a charity, and it makes me so indignant that I will refuse to contribute full stop.

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                          13.09.2008 00:21
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                          A good shop to pick up a bargain or two and leave your unwanted clothes, etc

                          Oxfam is a charity shop, which can be found right across Britain. I have done some voluntary work at my local Oxfam previously so got a behind the scenes look at the shop. The causes for buying items is good as most the money goes towards third-world countries.

                          Oxfam sell a variety of things from clothes to ornaments and food. Most of the items sold are second hand/new from members of the public who have kindly donated. You can pick up some great bargains though. I remember one woman who bought in literally hundreds of pounds worth of designer clothes. They were sold at a reasonably higher price but you would pay 5 times as much to buy them new. It's always worth having a look.

                          They also sell ornaments, toys and games, which have been donated. You can pick up some entertainment for the kids here. The food they sell is mostly fair trade, which is better for the foreigners who produce the food. Oxfam also sell a variety of new items including toys and little bits and bobs.

                          You can drop in your own clothes and unwanted items, which will go to a great cause. It is (hate to say it) a good way to 'dump' your old clothes and other items. I would recommend you check out your local shop to find a bargain or two!

                          Thanks for reading

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                            15.07.2008 15:53
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                            Donate to this charity or buy things from the catalogue or shops.

                            In my home town, I really love having a browse in the music section of the oxfam bookshop. Its got loads of old records, tapes, cds and most importantly sheet music. For musicians this is a brilliant resource, particularly for teaching, as there are loads of tutor books and easy pieces that you can pick up for a few pounds, and lend to your pupils. The best bit is that most of the money goes to the charity after the obvious shop rent and all the other transaction and tax costs. In Leeds there are a few oxfam shops, one which specialises in vintage clothing which is fantastic and very innovative of the charity.
                            For christmas my parents always buy me something from the oxfam xmas catalogue. This catalogue has gifts that benefit people in 3rd world countrys. You can buy a goat, mosquito nets, water for a community, transport, schools, building materials, crops, vaccinations and things such as this that will make their lives better. You get a certificate stating what your present is and they do all the rest. They list the costs such as advertising, producing the catalogue, transport of the products so you know where your moneys going. I think this charity, although very large, benefits people in 3rd world individually and not just that it also helps whole communities get healthy.

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                              15.07.2008 15:09
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                              a sound charity shop

                              In our local shopping area there are six charity shops which sell the usual bric-a-brac, clothes,toys etc but the latest one to open up, Oxfam, sells only books, DVDs and CD's.

                              It is a very bright and cheerful store, newly refurbished and easy to find items of interest.

                              I do like to give to charities but wonder -
                              1). How much money is spent on doing up some of their shops?
                              2). What percentage of the shop's takings is actually donated? It would be great if they displayed how much in their shop front.

                              Oxfam have appeals in times of special need - eg earthquakes and floods - I think this is a good idea and tend to support these appeals in shops rather than queue up at my local bank.

                              I guess our local Oxfam has a good deal of competition and has the reputation of being the most expensive charity shop around here but the goods are clean and good quality so you are never disappointed.

                              Oxfam have a great catalogue at Christmas which sells goods made overseas - very unusual gifts for the person that 'has everything' and many of the shops will have them dispalyed or will order them in for you - this saves on p&p which means you can make a cash donation in the tin near the till.

                              I think Oxfam have the best charity Christmas cards - they vary from £2.99 - £4.99 per pack but have very unusual designs. I like to try and give charity cards wherever possible but if I'm really hard up then I'll buy in their January sales and make a cash donation to 'top up' later in the year.

                              I also try to buy Traidcraft goods when (if!) I have any spare cash - their chocoalte is yummy and I don't feel too guilty at buying it as all profits go straight to Traidcraft.

                              I always try to donate my read books, watched DVDs, videos etc - recycling whilst helping to raise £!!

                              So - look out for Oxfam - it doesn't cost to have a look and you may find a real bargain....

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