Community helps community in Waikato district.

Having her life pieced back together from a giving community has prompted Janie Solomon to open a koha shed at her Ohinewai home.

The mother of eight said it was her turn to pay it forward with the venture which opened Friday. 

Solomon said she lost everything, including animals, in a house fire back in 2004 while living in Te Awamutu.

"We had a help from a lot of people... they had re-built our lives again.

"Words can not express how I felt... it's my time now to pay it forward."

Though currently on the benefit, it didn't stop Solomon from making the decision to open the shed.

The set-up includes a vast range on clothes, shoes, furniture and soon they'll be doing food parcels.

Excess items come from St John Huntly and clothes that are worn out go to Save Mart in Hamilton where they are turned into rags for businesses, she said.

It's part of the commitment to recycle and re-use as much as possible. 

Everything is free at the koha shed with no expectations of anything in return, she said, and you don't have to be "needy."

"It's all about the love, sharing the love.

"If we can eliminate that cost, then they can fill their cupboards up with more."

Though Ohinewai is a small community, Solomon said there was a need everywhere for a service like the koha shed.

She started the collection of the items from her own home and some has come from other koha sheds including Huntly which is run by Mich Black. 

Solomon has also received help from volunteers.

"They've go their own sheds but they still awhi [support]'s not going to work without one another."

Because that's the way it worked when you're part of the koha shed community, Black said.

"It comes down to the motto of community helping community."

The shed is located on 220 Lumsden Rd and is open from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday. 


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