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Donations turn houses into homes for the vulnerable

Our work with this national not-for-profit allows them to support some of the country's most vulnerable women.

YWCA Australia is a feminist not-for-profit focused on working towards a future where gender equality is a reality for young women, women and people of marginalised genders.

YWCA Canberra has been providing essential services to women and families in the local community for almost 80 years. Its dedicated housing support unit has helped countless women and their families find accommodation, many of whom are fleeing domestic and family violence. 

Demand for YWCA services is always high, but during COVID it has only increased. Family Case Manager Tamsin O'Rourkce says the pandemic limited the options for women at risk of homelessness.

"Where normally people might go couchsurfing, people wouldn't go into each other's homes. That led to people not having anywhere to go.

YWCA Family Case Manager Tamsin O'Rourke chats about recent donations coordinated through GIVIT

Canberrans dig deep

YWCA were recently able to secure accomodation for some women and families left homeless during the pandemic. However, four walls and a roof do not a home make, and furnishing the accommodation was another challenge altogether.

With the help of generous Canberrans, GIVIT has helped YWCA fit out the properties with many household essentials such as beds and linen, fridges, washing machines, coffee tables, tv units and other furniture. 

One single mother and her two children arrived in Canberra with no belongings aside from the clothing on their backs. Through GIVIT, the family received a double bed, bed sheets, quilt covers, pillows, towels, a washing machine and a baby cot.

But donations have not been limited to typical household goods. A single mother escaping domestic violence received four Officeworks vouchers worth $80 to purchase back-to-school packs for her children.
And for another family transitioning from homelessness, three kids’ bike helmets have been the perfect housewarming gift.

"With the help of GIVIT, we were really able to help people just get themselves established and move on," Tamsin from YWCA says. "Kids were able to focus more on school. We had some women who have been able to go back into the workforce."

Community steps up in Victoria

Donation of washing machines for homeless shelterIn Melbourne, YWCA was refurbishing a rooming house for older women, home to 27 women experiencing hardship such as homelessness, domestic and family violence and mental ill-health. To make its laundry as accessible and inclusive as possible, YWCA were looking to replace their old, coin-operated washing machines with brand new, free-to-use units.

A local small business saw the GIVIT request on social media, and stepped up to donate all three washing machines! 

 

GIVIT received a lovely thank you message from the house's residents - "A very big thank you, we're so grateful! We're saving money and are able to keep our clothes better. It makes such a difference that we don't have to save up our washing to do it. We don't have to go to the laundromat anymore. It's very kind of you to donate such great washing machines. Thank you!"

The smart way to give

Some of the donations above were part of GIVIT's Domestic and Family Violence Appeal. You can browse the list to see exactly what's needed.

You can also click here to support people experiencing homelessness, or see what's needed by people experiencing mental ill-health.

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