Feature Image; Help Refugees
The Choose Love pop up shop is showing that there is a new way to look at the Black Friday sales.
Amidst the craziness of Black Friday, people are queuing up to shop at the Choose Love pop up and leave empty handed. Instead of buying for themselves or presents for others they know, people are buying items for refugees.
Choose Love is located off Carnaby Street and was set up by the charity Help Refugees. The aim of the store is to invite shoppers to “shop your heart out, leave with nothing, and feel the love”.
Not only can a range of items for refugees be bought at the store, (including sleeping bags, emergency blankets and solar lamps) shoppers can also pay to give a refugee family legal support and mental health care.
The chief executive of Help Refugees, Josie Naughton, told the Guardian: “Christmas is a time of giving in abundance, but it makes you think about people who aren’t as lucky as we are.” She continued, “When you look at the stats of how much money is spent on Black Friday and compare that to the need in the world, it’s quite shocking”.
Nestled between high street shops advertising this year’s latest deals, the store is split into three areas, each exploring a different stage of a refugee’s journey: survival, shelter and the future.
It is the second year Help Refugees has run the pop-up store, while this year it has also opened a similar store in New York. Last year, the London store and its online equivalent raised £750,000, which helped provide refugees with 800,000 meals, 3,556 nights of accommodation, and 25,000 essential winter items for adults.
Zehra Ali, 26, who was standing near the shelter section, which sells bathing items and food, said: “We’re shopping our hearts out and this store gives us the opportunity to buy things for people that actually really need it”.
Information for the pop up stores are as follows:
CHOOSE LOVE LONDON:
Opening: 23 November 2018 Closing: January 2019
Address: 30-32 Fouberts Place, Carnaby, London, W1F 7PS
Hours: Monday – Saturday 11 – 6 pm, Sunday 12 – 6 pm
CHOOSE LOVE NEW YORK:
Opening: 27 November 2018
Address: 456 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012, USA