The Malta Independent 26 September 2021, Sunday

Close to €16,000 raised by WeAreNotAShop.com for charity

Thursday, 29 July 2021, 10:48 Last update: about 3 months ago

Since its launch six months ago, the unique website has raised vital funds for the Save the Valletta Skyline Appeal and St John Malta

Popular online shopping experience WeAreNotAShop.com is celebrating a successful first six months, raising €15,943 for charity from the sale against donations of over 800 items so far.

Blending altruism with a passion for unique design, the quirky online site offers a carefully curated collection of hard-to-find new, vintage and antique items. Every cent received for the site's large selection of items, including artworks, gifts, jewellery, homeware items and so much more is donated directly to the Save the Valletta Skyline Appeal (SVS) and St John Malta.

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WeAreNotAShop.com is only online, inspiring the site's unusual name as the team often had to explain "I'm afraid we are not a shop", in response to customers' requests to shop in person. And since its launch at the end of last year - at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic - WeAreNotAShop.com has raised impressive sums for both charities with €9,566 going to SVS and €6,377 to St John Malta.

"The idea for WeAreNotAShop.com began a few years ago," explains Lady Stephanie Laing, who created the concept. "We had hosted a two-day fundraising event selling beautiful, brand-new goods, which had been donated, and it was surprisingly successful. We organised a Christmas pop-up shop in the same year, which led to further donations of items and the belief that this had the potential to become an online shop. It took us a long 18 months for WeAreNotAShop to come together. We finally opened just before Christmas 2020 and are thrilled with the response we have received both locally and from overseas!"

Soon to become a Registered Voluntary Organisation, WeAreNotAShop.com has caught the imagination of customers everywhere. Due to word of mouth across social media and search engine pick-up, overseas enquiries and purchases (against donations) continue to build on top of those from the Maltese Islands. Today, the team ships goods to virtually anywhere in the world and already has customers in the UK, Germany, Romania, Belgium, Greece, the USA, Romania, the Netherlands and Australia.

Save the Valletta Skyline Appeal aims to raise €8m to fund vital restoration works to St Paul's Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Valletta, thus preserving this key feature of the capital's iconic skyline. Meanwhile, 40% of all money raised through WeAreNotAShop.com supports St John Malta, a voluntary organisation that is currently offering critical community aid through the Covid-19 crisis, as well as vital services to the local community and visitors alike.

"Once the Save the Valletta Skyline Appeal is complete, we plan to also help other local charities," adds Lady Laing. "WeAreNotAShop.com is a site with the potential to do so much long-term good. We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from Malta and beyond and will continue to offer the beautiful, the unusual and the unique - all to keep helping beautiful, unusual and unique Malta."

WeAreNotAShop.com is online at www.wearenotashop.com. Donations are welcome via the contact form on the website. More information about the Save the Valletta Skyline Appeal can be found online at www.stpaulspromalta.org and about St John Malta at www.stjohnmalta.org


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