The Mercy Store is a project within Jubilee's Sun Shade ministry. Sunshade is a support group for women in the Salt River and surrounding areas, spawning numerous projects over the years to support the women participating in the group.
The Mercy Store is a clothing resource that Jubilee congregations contribute too. Members donate clothes they no longer have use for, to serve those in need.
Jenny Witten runs Jubilee’s Mercy store. The store is located in the Observatory building and is home to an array
of donated, gently used clothes, shoes, kitchen utensils, linen, blankets, toys and books. The store serves folk in a variety of ways every year.
Twice a year, Jenny and her team invite residents from Salt River/Observatory and groups connected to Jubilee from Langa to come and buy clothes and other goods that they need for their families. The items are nominally sold for R1 and R2 each. Further to that, every week on a Tuesday morning homeless people – mainly men - come to the building to receive clothes and blankets. “It’s wonderful to be able to dignify them with warm clothes that are in great condition.” Jenny says.
“Our team listen to what the men need, ask their sizes and then put together personalised parcels for each individual.
Each parcel is handed over with a smile and each person is shown love and dignity.”
Jenny also loves to help the ladies from the Beauty for Ashes Ministry. These women arrive at one of the two half way houses straight out of Pollsmoor Prison. They often have only the clothes on their backs.
One of the House Mothers brings these women to the Mercy Store. Each woman, fresh out of prison, is shown love and acceptance. The team does not just grab any clothes off the shelf but turns the Mercy Store into a fun retail experience and the women are able to choose clothes for themselves. The ladies can try on the clothes and check out the fit in front of a mirror. Jenny and her team are on hand to advise and help.
This is usually the first touch these women have of Jubilee Community Church. From the second they walk into the building and meet Jenny they realise that Jubilee is a place where they are loved, accepted and can really rehabilitate.