Margaret Green with the recycled and donated goods she sells at a local car boot sale. Photo: Sinead Ogilvie.

70 years of helping people


You’ll find local good sort Margaret Green up bright and early once a month, setting up her stall at the local car boot sale. But unlike most who sell their goods for personal gain, to Margaret it is a means to an end – and not her own.

Perusing the recycle centre, collecting donated goods, she parks up at the Richmond Baptist Church and sells them on, using the money she collects to help pay the way of the volunteer work she does in the community.

Gardening for the elderly, odd jobs for the unable, companionship for those living alone, at 79 years old Margaret has spent the past 70 years of her life “doing unto others” and says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s been a pattern. Somehow, my feet will always be taken to a place where I am going to be needed.”

Knick knacks, books, clothing, household items, you name it and it could well be in Margaret’s boot, ready for another day of fundraising at the market. Local churches and friends often donate items to her cause and the rest Margaret finds at the local recyling centre.

Her goodwill started when she was just nine years old. Living in Ruby Bay, she would call in to see people who lived alone or needed a hand on her way home from school and says she hasn’t stopped since.

“There is a lot of need out there and I’ve been drawn to helping others all of my life. People don’t often see how the other half live, or understand the situations some people can be in.”

Her charity even accompanied her to London where by day she was a librarian, then she’d spend weekends in “cardboard city” with homeless people.

Now living in Richmond, Margaret spends her days helping others, volunteering at St Vincent De Pauls’, keeping people company and keeping an eye out for items to sell at her market stall. Margaret uses the money raised to top up her superannuation so she can afford to put petrol in her car when she picks up and drops off the people she volunteers for, or helps pay for the items she needs to look after their household chores or takes them to events. While she may be getting on in life herself, Margaret won’t ever stop helping others.

“No, I couldn’t, not ever. Helping others means too much to me and it isn’t something I could ever just stop doing.”

While the work she does slips under the radar most days, Margaret hopes she can inspire others to volunteer their time to helping people living “on the fringe” in the community.

As well as the market held at the Richmond Babtist Church, Margaret will hold a garage sale at her home this Saturday. Sales begin from 8am at 15a Roeske St in Richmond.