‘Tis the season to spread cheer and help others, and the Choose Love pop-up is the perfect place to start!
Pop-ups come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, and we do love to write about them. But rather than a new foodie joint, or a place to pet cute animals, the Help Refugees ‘Choose Love’ pop-up in Soho offers a way to do some real good in the world. A place that advises you to “shop your heart out and leave with nothing”, this inspiring shop sells items that are invaluable to refugees around the world. Opening on November 23rd, it’s the most meaningful Black Friday shopping experience in town, so why not head down and check it out?
Choose Love sell items including emergency blankets, medical equipment, and lifejackets, as well as everyday objects like dictionaries and nappies. And whilst you don’t need those things to survive the Central line, there are people worldwide in desperate need of them. Everything you buy here will be sent to vulnerable refugees across Europe and the Middle East. This year, they’ll also be offering the chance to buy sleeping bags and other means of support for homeless people across the UK and US.
Last year, the London store and the online shop raised a whopping £750,000 – and with your help, they’re looking to beat that this year. Helping out is as simple as picking an item, taking the tag to the till, and then leaving empty-handed. The shop is divided into sections that chart the stages of a refugee’s journey. ‘Survival’ is the section to pick up emergency blankets and food, ‘Shelter’ sells tents and sleeping bags, whilst ‘Future’ offers educational materials.
You can buy individual items, or plump for a bundle, which could help mothers and babies, or vulnerable women, for instance. In a new development this year, you can put money towards a lawyer, to provide legal assistance to refugees separated from their families. Each item comes with a description of how it helps vulnerable refugees, helping to make this an educational experience as well as a charitable one – they’ll also hold regular talks, workshops, and events to this effect.
Help Refugees is a humanitarian aid organisation that works on the frontlines of the refugee crisis, offering rapid response to urgent needs. The money raised by the London shop last year delivered 800,000 nutritious meals, 3556 nights of accommodation, and 100,000 essential items for babies. You can spend as little as £4.99, or as much as £499 – an option in which you buy one of everything in the whole shop.
Plenty of reasons to head along then, and here’s a final one: the Choose Love shop will employ celebrity staff to work the occasional shift, so there’s always the chance of seeing a big name. The chance to help people in need, and get a warm fuzzy feeling from doing good? It’s an absolute no-brainer!
Location: 30-32 Fouberts Place, Carnaby, W1F 7PS. Nearest station is Oxford Circus. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: 11-6pm (Mon to Sat), 12-6pm (Sun). Choose Love will be open until January 2019.
Entry: free. (See more free things to do in London).
More information: from their website.