Donating the gift of warmth
Amidst droughts and bushfires, it can be hard to consider the impact of the cold winter months on the tens of thousands of Canberrans who live below the poverty line. This group includes more than 1500 homeless people who struggle with extreme cold while living on the streets of the nation’s capital. As the winter begins, related requests to GIVIT soar. Through a Winter Warmer appeal, we worked with over 200 charities and community groups to make a positive difference to those for whom plummeting temperatures provide yet another challenge to their health and well-being.
GIVIT coordinates requests for donations of warm clothing and bedding, for the homeless, for those escaping domestic violence, for asylum seekers and refugees, or anyone else in need. GIVIT’s ACT Manager, Caroline Odgers, explained, “Each year we receive thousands of requests for winter items from the local charities we support, from pyjamas for kids living in care to tracksuits for rough sleepers. By donating through GIVIT you can show vulnerable locals they are not forgotten - that someone they will never meet cares about them.’’
To further assist in the winter months, GIVIT formed an on-going partnership with ski brand XTM Performance. Its Heat the Homeless appeal, piloted in 2018, sees people drop off quality, pre-loved winter clothing at participating Anaconda stores. Vinnies’ Night Patrol, a mobile outreach service for people experiencing homelessness, is a recipient of some of the donations. Bryce Taotua, one of its coordinators, explained the impact of the Heat the Homeless appeal, “During last winter alone, we distributed more than 1,000 jackets and jumpers to rough sleepers. Our winter is painstakingly long, starting as early as April, going through until October. Through the support of businesses like XTM Performance, we can continue to support those in our society who need a hand up.’’
GIVIT will continue to work within ACT each winter, coordinating requests with our dedicated registered support organisations, and working with generous donors – all to help meet the needs of the most vulnerable.