For the second year in a row, UK Charity Help Refugees has established a Choose Love pop-up shop in London.
This year they have expanded with a new shop in New York City.
Since 1 December, they’ve brought in more than £850,000, including online purchases.
The shops illustrate three stages of the life of a refugee: arrival, shelter and future.
This is the world’s first shop where customers can buy real gifts for refugees, such as emergency blankets, hot food, life jackets, tents, medical care, school supplies, legal services and accommodation.
Olivia Long, who works in the shop, explains the concept further:
Luke, a London film producer, who visited the shop said it was great to be able to buy physical items that make a difference.
Was Banksy here?
A team of workers assigned by the artist Banksy– The Rat Pack – began setting up a sculpture for the shop last month. Olivia Long says Banksy himself may have been among them:
The donated boat sculpture has been raffled to Help Refugees’ pop-up shop.
It depicts a group of refugees in a boat and is made from a shop bought glass hull customised with quick-cast resin figures that are foam filled.
Find Choose Love – Help Refugees shop at 30 Foubert’s Pl, Soho, London W1F 7PU.