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Lending a hand as cost of living bites

NRMA Insurance and RACV help GIVIT provide essential donations

As the cost of living continues to increase, more and more people are experiencing financial hardship, and charities are seeing unprecedented demand for their services.

Working Australians experienced the highest yearly jump in the cost of living on record earlier this year¹. And in data from the Australia Community Sector Survey (ACSS), just 3% of survey participants said their main service could always meet demand, meaning support organisations are struggling to keep up with the increase of people who need them².

The graph below shows the most common challenges affecting people and communities supported by ACSS survey participants³. 

A bar graph showing the most frequently references challenges affecting people and/or communities supported by charities in 2022.

Challenges affecting people and/or communities supported in 2022. Source: Australian Community Sector Survey

Help where and when it's needed

NRMA Insurance and RACV joined forces in 2021, delivering $2 million to fund GIVIT's COVID-19 Relief Program to respond to a dramatic rise in COVID-19-related requests. 

In 2023, these funds have often been used to purchase essential items and services for people struggling with the cost of living crisis which began during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 Relief Program has coordinated the donation of more than 1.5 million essential items and services to people across Australia thanks to support from NRMA Insurance and RACV. Almost 750 support organisations Australia-wide have received items and services for the people they're assisting. Here are some of their stories.

Helping disadvantaged youth learn to drive

A young woman smiling standing in front fo a car holding her learner license.Access to transport is an important part of life. Australians earning lower incomes are more likely to have lower access to transport, which in turn makes their lives harder and reinforces the cycle of disadvantage⁴. 

For young people learning to drive, access to a car and reliable teacher, and the cost of driving lessons, registration fees, and license tests can be significant barriers to obtaining a driving license. 

The Baw Baw L2P Program in regional Victoria provides driving experience to young learner drivers who'd otherwise find it difficult to access lessons and a driver's licence. Through Baw Baw L2P, GIVIT provided petrol vouchers for a young woman who'd just obtained her learner license.

"The smile on her face says it all! We're so grateful for RACV and GIVIT."

- Staff from Baw Baw L2P

 

Rays of light after losing everything in a flood

For people impacted by natural disasters, the increased cost of living makes recovery that much harder.

During the floods that devastated Central West New South Wales in spring 2022, an elderly couple were trapped for hours inside their flooded home in Molong. They lost everything they owned, including their pet cat. They are living in temporary accommodation, and the husband has since had a stroke.

Through Hospital Auxiliary Molong, GIVIT and NRMA Insurance provided chemist vouchers to help the couple with their unexpected medical bills.

Your help at the time of the disaster right through to today has helped us empower these most affected not only purchase desperately needed items but show them at such a vulnerable time that people really do care...

Our Auxillary knows all too well as myself and many of our members were directly affected by the natural disaster events, the support from GIVIT has been a true blessing in our Shire's darkest days and to continue to walk through the journey with us has not been unnoticed. We cannot convey how much GIVIT has helped our Shire and we will be forever grateful.

HOSPITAL AUXILIARY MOLONG

Getting kids enjoying school again

Three female volunteers from The Sixth Child holding donated toys and games from GIVIT.One in six kids in Australia experience disadvantage. The Sixth Child aims to help these children.

In Victoria, children are still readjusting to regular schooling and socialising with peers after two years of interruption due to COVID-19. The education of many kids suffered significantly, and students from disadvantaged families were more likely to disengage with school during this time.

The Sixth Child is working with schools to support student engagement through positive reinforcement. Students can earn rewards for good behaviour. GIVIT has provided art supplies, colouring books, toys and board games to assist with this program.

"With the donation from GIVIT and RACV, it will allow these children to engage with each other whilst doing a fun activity. Thanks so much RACV!"

- The Sixth Child Founder

Last minute Christmas presents for families in need

"We have used GIVIT for several years. We have been donated everything from bassinets to vouchers, double prams (brand new) to car seats! Nothing is too much to request.

At Christmas, within 24 hours of requesting, I was donated vouchers to purchase Christmas gifts and grocery vouchers for families that come through our department. The support that GIVIT and their corporate partners provide is instrumental in us supporting our children and families within our department.

Signing up and using GIVIT is easy and we can't thank GIVIT and NRMA Insurance enough for everything they do for us."

- Staff member from WA Government Department of Communities (Child Protection and Family Support)

Helping young people out of homelessness

A male and female staff member from GIVIT, standing in a lobby with a female staff member from Colony47 holding donated linen.In Southern Tasmania, Colony47 supports Tasmanians to be healthy, housed, educated, employed and empowered.

The organisation was supporting two young people who'd been homeless and couch surfing for over a year. 

After reengaging in education and finding part-time jobs with assistance from Colony47, the young people secured accommodation.

Thanks to RACV, GIVIT provided vouchers to buy a microwave, pots, pans, linen and a vacuum to help the young people get set up in their new home.

One of the young people even said he was excited to get home and vacuum the floor!

"These donations are so essential to the work we do with people experiencing homelessness. When someone is offered a tenancy, it is so heart-warming to be able to offer them essential items.


"Many of the people we work with, have limited or no belongings due to experiencing homelessness and to be able to start a tenancy with some household items really makes a difference in
their lives! Thank you GIVIT and RACV!"

- Social worker from Colony47

The COVID-19 Relief Program has allowed our community partners to rapidly meet the urgent needs of Australians and ensure that people have access to the everyday items we all require.

SARAH TENNANT, FORMER GIVIT CEO

A phone to connect with the world

A female staff member from GIVIT, along with two female staff members from Queenslanders with Disability Network holding a donated tablet and GIVIT signQueenslanders with Disability Network was supporting a 43-year-old man requiring 24/7 care due to his disability. The man also has agoraphobia and doesn't like public settings. 

The gentleman has been socially isolated for most of his life, and wanted to feel more connected to his community, family and support network.

The man was unable to afford a phone, so GIVIT provided him one. He's now able to video call his mum and dad as often as he likes, and can connect with people in a way that makes him feel safe and comfortable. He also now has easy access to online health resources and support services.

"Because of NRMA Insurance, this man's life will be that little bit easier and his parents are so grateful to now be able to connect with their son whenever they want."

- Support worker from Queenslanders with Disability Network

Single mum and family catch a much needed break

In Adelaide, Junction Australia was supporting a single mum in financial hardship, working night shifts to make ends meet for her family. Two of her boys live with disability, including Autism and ADHD. The support worker said the pandemic has made life so much harder for this family.

To apply for NDIS to help pay for treatment and behavioural support for her youngest son, the mum required an expensive Autism assessment which she couldn't afford.

GIVIT funded the cost of the Autism assessment, and provided vouchers for groceries and fuel to give this hard-working mum a temporary reprieve.

"Thank you so much to GIVIT and NRMA Insurance for making truly life-changing impacts across our communities... When telling the mother, she broke down in tears and thanked everyone involved profusely - she could not believe there were people out there who were so willing to help her family. It may seem like a small gesture, but this was truly life-changing for this family."

- Junction Australia support worker

Partners

NRMA Insurance is delighted that our joint contribution with RACV to establish the COVID-19 Relief Program has seen GIVIT achieve such a significant milestone.

RAMANA JAMES, NRMA INSURANCE EXECUTIVE GENERAL MANAGER SAFER COMMUNITIES

RACV is very pleased to see the impact GIVIT is having on the communities it has provided essential items to, who need the support. Even a small item can make a big difference to someone’s life.

LOUISE STEINFORT, RACV GENERAL MANAGER SOCIAL IMPACT AND CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS

How you can help people impacted by COVID-19

The impacts of COVID-19 and the cost of living crisis continue to be felt. The pandemic has exacerbated the stress on our most vulnerable, and the cost of living crisis makes life even harder to people who are already experiencing some sort of disadvantage.

The list below shows what's needed right now by organisations supporting people experiencing hardship due to factors such as the cost of living and the pandemic. You can donate an item or service, FUND an item or service, or donate directly to the appeal.

See what people need right now

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Toowoomba
QLD 4350

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Toowoomba
QLD 4350

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Hindmarsh
SA 5007

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Hindmarsh
SA 5007

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Ringwood
VIC 3134

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Hastings
VIC 3915

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South Melbourne
VIC 3205

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South Melbourne
VIC 3205

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South Melbourne
VIC 3205

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South Melbourne
VIC 3205

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